Alopecia is a condition that is caused by the body’s immune system attacking the hair follicles. It can affect any area of the body, but it primarily affects the scalp, resulting in thinning hair, bald spots, or a receding hairline. Fortunately, there are many treatment options for people experiencing hair loss. The one that’s right for you depends on the type of hair loss, the extent of hair loss, and your personal preferences.
What is Alopecia?
Alopecia is a disease that causes hair to fall out from the scalp. It is estimated that approximately 6.5 million people in the United States are affected by alopecia, and it is more prevalent in women than in men.
It can begin at any time from childhood to adulthood, but the peak incidence begins around age 50. Hair loss due to various types of alopecia may be permanent or temporary.
Types of Alopecia
Alopecia can be caused by genetics, autoimmune diseases, cancer treatments, or other medical conditions. Different types of alopecia include:
- Alopecia Areata: This type of alopecia occurs when there is an inflammation of the hair follicles on the scalp and they get attacked by white blood cells called T lymphocytes. These cells attack the follicle and cause it to stop producing hair.
- Alopecia Totalis: This type of alopecia is the complete hair loss on the head and body.
- Alopecia Universalis: This type of alopecia is when there is a total or partial loss of hair on all parts of the body, not just one area.
Causes of Hair Loss
Alopecia can be caused by emotional stress-related problems, such as severe anxiety or depression. It is also possible that alopecia can be a side effect of cancer treatments, most commonly chemotherapy. Alopecia can also be caused by an autoimmune disorder. People with a family or personal history of autoimmune disorders are usually at higher risk for alopecia.
Hair Loss Treatments
There are different treatments available for alopecia patients. The ideal hair loss treatment varies depending on the type of hair loss, cause of the condition, and severity. In some cases, a patient may need only to find a way to address mental health concerns to see a reduction in hair loss. In other cases, more aggressive treatment is needed to reverse the condition.
Treatments for alopecia typically include anything that is intended to strengthen the immune system and promote hair growth. These treatments may be as simple as taking supplements or following a strict diet. However, more invasive treatments can also be indicated. For example, in cases of alopecia areata, the treatment may include immunotherapy or topical corticosteroids. Finally, hair transplantation can help thicken hairs or fill in bald patches.
Alopecia Treatments in Farmington
There is a wide range of treatments available for alopecia patients. These treatments can help people regain their hair and improve their quality of life. Schedule a consultation with Dr. David Baird to find out which treatments are available for you and your condition. Get the conversation started by calling our office or contacting us online today.