What is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that cause your body’s immune system to attack your hair follicles which causes your hair to fall out.
When we talk about alopecia, we are referring to hairloss. Alopecia is the medical term for hairloss.
Alopecia areata causes hairloss in some area of the body mainly from the scalp resulting to round or oval bald spots on the scalp. In most cases, hairloss isn’t that severe, in a e few, hairloss may occur in patches and in severe cases, hairloss can spread to the entire scalp.
The different types of alopecia areata is further broken down into:
Alopecia areata totalis: this is a form of hairloss that affects the entire hair on your scalp. In other words, it means loosing all the hair on your head.
Alopecia areata universalis: this condition affects the hair over your entire body.
Diffuse alopecia areata: this type of alopecia areata cause hair to begin thinning out suddenly.
What causes alopecia areata
Alopecia areata happens when the cells (white blood cells which forms the immune system) surrounds and attacks the part of your body that produces hair (hair follicles) . The attached har in the hair follicles is forced to fall in out either in clumps or singles due to this attack.
In most cases, hair can grow back again but fall out again later while for some, the hair hair can grow back and still remain. That means even if your hairloss is critical, there’s still a chance that the hair will most definitely grow back.
Who can get alopecia areata?
Anyone can develop alopecia areata especially if you have a close relative who experience same condition in their gene that makes it most likely.
Some health issues can as well trigger alopecia areata:
- Thyroid disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Pernicious anemia
- Seasonal allergies
- Down syndrome
Symptoms of alopecia areata
The following are the main symptoms of alopecia areata. They can happen suddenly or gradually:
- Small circular or patchy bald spots on your scalp
- Smooth bald patches
- Mild itching and tingling in bald areas
- Cycles of hairloss and regrowth
- Burning sensation on affect areas
- Thinning hair around bald spots
- Loss of hair over a short time
Can alopecia areata be cured?
According to research, alopecia areata can not be cured but it can be prevented of it is diagnosed and treated in it’s early stage.
Remedy for alopecia areata
Manage stress and anxiety: stress and anxiety can affect your immune system and can literally trigger alopecia areata.
Have a scalp regiment: gentle scalp massage mostly with ayurvedic infused oil or tea spray daily for 10-15mins goes a long way because the massage will help warm up your scalp and stimulates blood circulation on the scalp and affected areas which helps to activate the hair follicles. Herbs like aloe vera, amla, hibiscus, bhringaraja, henna and neem helps to boost hair growth. The purpose of using ayurvedic oil or tea is for the nutrients the herbs provide.
Consumption of nutritious diet: nutritious diet helps to purify the blood and also promotes hair growth.
Change your diet: when treating alopecia areata, some food should be avoided because they might trigger the symptoms and cause constant reoccurrence of hairloss. In order to safely treat alopecia areata, one should be mindful of their diet.
Foods to eat:
- Vegetables and fruits e.g cucumber, pumpkin, pineapple etc
- Protein rich foods e.g fish, egg, beans etc
- Gluten free foods
- Diary free foods
Exercise regularly: exercise helps to stablise your immune system.
Avoid tight hairstyles: tight hairstyles only put tension on your scalp and might damage your hair follicles. Hair strands will be forced to fall out from your follicles and scalp when your immune system senses the tension.
Medical treatment of alopecia areata may involves administrating or injecting steroids orally to the affected areas. But this have side effects and can take longer periods