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Alopecia Areata - Causes, Diagnosis And Treatments

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MD - Skin,VD & Leprosy, Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology (FAAD)
Dermatologist, Mumbai  •  13years experience
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I am Dr. Sachin Chaudhari, Dermatologist. Today I will talk about alopecia areata. How to diagnose, causes and treatment in general? It is a sudden loss of hair mostly in the form of patches. It happens on the face, beard, head. It seems like a bald patch on the head or any part of the body. The causes are mainly an autoimmune disorder, stress, dry skin. It can also happen in a particular area. In other condition, total hair loss can also happen where all the body hair is gone. In this condition, we examine the patient clinically. Then we see how has it occurred? How patient come to know about the condition? Mostly, it is diagnosed by the patient itself or the barber when the patient goes for a haircut. Sometimes, patients get to know when the patches increases in the number or in the size. What do we do in this condition? We diagnose it clinically and also we can do a scalp biopsy, dermatoscopy or trichoscopy to see the condition and after that we diagnose it.

The treatment is covered into multiple parts. First, we have to see autoimmune conditions then family history then we will see for the recurrent condition. We see whether the condition is active or not like patches are increasing or stable. If it is increasing then we give certain medicines to stabilize the condition so that new patch will not develop. And the patch which is already there, then it will be recovered by the regrowth of the hair. First, we tell the patient to use natural shampoos, avoid the use of alcohol, smoking. Then we start medicines which help in preventing and spreading of the disease. We also give the medications to apply in that particular area.

We give the medications for hair regrowth. In certain people, hair grows after a certain time. In a few patients regrowth does not happen so, in such cases, we do the treatment. We also do interventional treatment where we give the injections. We also can do the PRP. Another treatment is called low laser light in which we give the light on a particular area that rejuvenates and also promote the hair growth. So for the diagnosis of alopecia areata, mostly the clinical examination is enough. Sometimes, Dr also advised some tests which are skin biopsy or we can do the blood test to diagnose any other autoimmune condition involved or not so as to give the proper treatment. If you have any query, you can consult me through Lybrate.

Thank You.

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