What is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune condition that results in shedding of hair in small and random patches. Alopecia, in general, affects the scalp, but then again it can also occur in other parts of the body.
The exact reason for alopecia still remains undefined. Nevertheless, it has found that most people who have a family history of autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes are the most vulnerable to this condition. The good news for you is that although this illness has no cure, there are treatments which can help your hair regrow quickly and may also, in many cases, prevent future hair loss.
How is Alopecia diagnosed?
While the doctor may be able to diagnose this disease by simply looking at the extent of hair loss, he can also examine a few strands of the hair samples under a microscope. If needed, your doctor can also perform a scalp biopsy to rule out other conditions that may have caused the hair loss, such as fungal infections like tinea capitis. While performing a biopsy, the doctor will remove a small piece of skin (no more than the nail on your little finger) on your scalp for analysis. If other autoimmune conditions are suspected, blood tests may also be done. The specific blood test that needs to be performed depends completely on the particular disorder that your doctor suspects.
How is Alopecia treated?
Hair fall is not a problem as long as it is within the healthy range. In fact, as part of a normal cycle of hair growth, a person loses between 50- 100 strands of hair per day. The problem arises when the daily hair fall is more than 200 with little or no hair growth. In some cases, the hair growth may be slower than usual. All these factors may trigger thinning of the scalp, a condition commonly known as Alopecia. In some cases, the situation gets so bad that it results in baldness (both in males and females).
Alopecia can be of two types:
What triggers severe hair fall or Alopecia in men and women?
Hair fall or Alopecia is no longer a problem associated with old age (Diffuse Alopecia). Young adults (both men and women), in their mid 20's and 30's are suffering from Alopecia. While there may be many factors responsible for alopecia, some of the common and critical triggers are
Hair loss occurs for a variety of reasons, which include physiological, environmental and genetic factors. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that results in hair loss. In most cases, hair loss occurs in patches across the scalp. If you lose complete hair from your head due to it, you suffer from alopecia totalis. Moreover, if you lose hair from all over the body, this extreme case is known as alopecia universalis.
How is alopecia areata treated?
Doctors have two options when it comes to the treatment of alopecia areata. The first is to reduce the immune response of the body causing the hair loss. For this, your doctor will prescribe immunosuppressants in the form of corticosteroids. You may need to take it orally or in the form of injections.
The second form of treating alopecia areata is through medication that promotes hair growth. The goal is to increase the rate of growth more than the rate of hair fall. Minoxidil is a popular drug that prevents the formation of new bald patches on your head.
However, both these forms of treatment are dangerous and can lead to serious side effects when used in the long-term.
Side effects of corticosteroids-
Here is a look at some of the dangers that corticosteroids pose to your health if you use them as a form of treating alopecia areata.
Glaucoma and cataracts
Weakened immune system, leading to greater cases of infections
Easy bruising and thinning of the skin
Side effects of minoxidil-
Even though side effects from minoxidil are not as severe as those you suffer from corticosteroids, they are still problematic for your overall well-being. Common side effects from the drug include
Therefore, the conventional treatment for alopecia areata is too dangerous and the side effects from the drugs can lead to severe complications for you in the future.
Ayurvedic treatment for alopecia areata-
Ayurveda terms hair loss as Khalitya and its treatment not only helps stop hair fall but also ensures that hair regrows naturally. Shiroroga, a branch of medicine under Ayurveda greatly helps in this process.
If you seek ayurvedic treatment for alopecia areata, you will undergo treatment with various oils, powders and packs. These are prepared with the help of classical Ayurvedic texts. Panchakarma treatment will also greatly rejuvenate your hair quality and help it grow back. Additional, Ayurvedic experts will also ask you to undergo lifestyle and dietary changes to reduce the effects of the disorder.
The tendency to lose hair under the effect of alopecia areata certainly deserves immediate attention and remedy. This kind of disorder suppresses the normal hair re-growth process by obstructing the natural activities of the follicles. In most cases, the genetic flaw is largely responsible behind the occurrence of this ailment. It is the main reason that people intend to know can alopecia be cured naturally.
The notable alopecia areata symptoms usually gain visibility either at the childhood stage or during the youthful period. It often produces an embarrassing feeling among people belonging to the age group of 25- 30 years. As a result, they either spend money on buying wigs or to perform a hair transplant procedure. But even after such initiatives, they do crave to experience the natural hair revival process once again. Hence, they constantly explore different options to accomplish this desire.
Nowadays, the concept of natural or conventional remedial methods has started to receive a steady response among health-conscious people. These conventional measures are also closely associated with alopecia treatment as well. Now, it is time to discuss some of the methods that shall help to nip the various alopecia areata symptoms in the bud. These are:
In case, you want to solve the problem of alopecia areata with the help of nature then utilizing products like licorice root, Chinese hibiscus, green tea, egg, lemon, honey, and others will definitely be quite beneficial. However, you also need to maintain steady communication with the dermatologist to attain suitable alopecia treatment consistently. Both these efforts will eventually allow you to accomplish the objective of a healthy lifestyle without leading to any sort of disorder like alopecia.
Alopecia areata is stated as a baldness disorder where there is hair loss due to a mistaken attack of the immune system on the hair follicles (the region where hair growth starts). The damage which the hair follicles face is not permanent. However, the reason why the immune system attacks the hair follicles is still unknown. Although this problem is commonly seen in people below the age of 20, it may also be found in adults and children belonging to any age group. Men and women equally fall victim to this disorder.
Causes of Alopecia Areata-
It's yet not perfectly understood what causes alopecia areata. For some reason, follicles stop producing visible hair, resulting in smooth bald patches that can appear overnight. Researchers are trying to determine what triggers the disease, and whether it's from within the body or from environmental factors. There are no diagnostic tests available which can predict the onset and behavior of alopecia areata.
However, there may be some hereditary factors which play a role in hair loss, in about 20% of cases people with alopecia areata have a family member who are also affected. Below area few common factors which are known as a trigger for Alopecia areata.
Exposure to chemicals
Local skin disease
Increased hair fall in ayurveda is termed as khalitya and is classified under shiroroga.
Romakupagata / keshamulagata vitiated pitta (bhrajaka pitta) along with vitiated vata leads to dis-lodgement or withering of the hair from the hair roots. Further to this, vitiated sleshma / kapha along with rakta will cover and causes obstruction to the hair root, which results in no further hair growth from that place.
A few ways of treatment to reduce hair fall and stimulate hair growth:
Pitta Pacification: This type of treatment is stated as an effective ayurvedic treatment to enhance the digestive system including pitta pacification dietary chart and pitta decreasing ayurvedic medication. This therapy removes toxins from the biological system through effective herbs.
Ayurvedic Oil Application: Jasminum grandifolium induced medicated herbal hair oil is highly effective for treating baldness.
Panchakarma Therapy: Panchakarma is defined as five (pancha) remedies (karma) which involve ayurvedic measures to cleanse the body. This therapy is generally seen as a supplement to the whole therapy needed for treating alopecia. Specific suggestions of Panchakarma therapy are shirodhara (head massage with medicated oil) and Ksheera vasthi, which includes medicated enema (injecting liquid or gas into the rectum, to take out the harmful contents like toxins).
Nasya: This therapy is characterized by the ayurvedic intake of medication through your nasal cavity which then eliminates the impurities from there. It is a very effective therapy for treating the signs of alopecia.
Ayurvedic Diet: Ayurvedic diet is considered an essential treatment method for alopecia. Certain food products must be included or increased in the diet. These include:
Food with astringent properties (making skin less oily and reducing bleeding from minor abrasions), sweet and bitter.
Lentils, leafy green vegetables and pulses.
Alopecia is a medical condition in which the immune system of a person's body attacks the hair follicles resulting in hair loss in a patchy manner. Damage sustained by the hair follicles is not usually permanent. Experts do not know the exact reason to why this condition is prevalent or under which circumstances the immune system attacks the hair follicles. Alopecia is commonly prevalent amongst people under the age of twenty but adults in some cases can also be affected. It can occur in both men and women.
What happens in Alopecia?
If a person is suffering from Alopecia, then he or she will experience clumps of hair falling out, which leads to smooth hairless patches. This can happen due to the following reasons
1. The person has a family history of such a condition
2. The person suffers from an autoimmune disease.
3. Person is prone to allergies.
4. Person experiences extensive hair loss.
Alopecia can be diagnosed with the help of the person's family history and a physical examination performed by the physician or medical specialist. If a cursory physical examination remains inconclusive, the specialist may recommend you for a hair analysis for further study or a blood test to check for hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
In most cases as a person suffering from alopecia regrows hair, he/she does not opt for any medical assistance. They use hairpieces, hair products or certain styling techniques in the interim period. However the most common treatment for alopecia is multiple injections of corticosteroids applied to the scalp about 1 cm apart in an interval of 4 to 6 weeks. Another method of re-growing hair is by opting for contact immunotherapy in which a medicine is applied on the scalp once a week. This triggers an allergic reaction which irritates the skin the scalp area and makes it red and scaly. Hair growth is seen in three months since beginning of the treatment. Side effects of contact immunotherapy include severe rash and swollen lymph nodes.
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease (wherein the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues rather than the malicious pathogens). There is no permanent solution for alopecia areata. However, there are some treatments available which would aid in preventing hair loss as well as stimulating growth of hair. The focus of therapies would be on strengthening the hair roots, scalp and fibre so that breakage is averted and your hair is restored to a healthy condition.
The therapies should incorporate:
The therapies should aim to achieve the aforementioned objectives by utilizing phytonutrient extracts, nourishing oils, minerals, vitamins as well as plant peptides so that hair roots are energized, scalp is made healthy as well as hair fibres, are strengthened.
Strengthening of the roots of the hair is of primary importance to prevent alopecia areata as well as other hair fall conditions. The main techniques used to address this issue are:
This condition, as mentioned above, is caused due to the immune system attacking the cells on your scalp. This condition occurs suddenly and causes balding patches but doesn’t usually lead to complete baldness or a permanent halt on hair growth. The volume of lost hair is different for different people.
Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss where hair loss is in a pattern like small, coin-shaped, round patches on the scalp. Sometimes hair loss can be else where too such as beard, eyebrows, eyelashes, etc.
Causes:- It is an autoimmune disorder where hair is lost because it is rejected by one's own immune system. Why this happens is not fully understood.
A person suffering from alopecia areata is more likely to develop other autoimmune disorders like thyroid, diabetes, vitiligo
Alopecia areata is not contagious, nor is it related to diet or vitamin deficiencies
Stress, however can aggravated the condition
Homeopathic treatment for alopecia areata
1) Fluoric acid:- tendency to develop alopecia areata in family, brittle hair, hair fall in spots esp from vertex, all complaints are aggravated by warmth,
3) Graphites:- hair fall on sides, patchy baldness, constipation associated with hair fall. Chilly patient
4) Nat Mur:- hair fall esp in anemic females
These are few basic indication for alopecia areata patients in homeopathy
You may lose 50 to 100 strands of hair each day. Yet the thinning of your scalp hair is almost unnoticeable owing to the simultaneous new hair growth filling up the bald spots. But hair loss occurs if this cycle of shedding and growth gets distorted. Stress and an unhealthy lifestyle take a toll on your hair as well.
Alopecia is a medical term used for baldness. There are different sorts of alopecia, including alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is a condition that causes a person’s hair to fall out in patches. It is an autoimmune disease where the person’s own immune system attacks his body, the hair follicles in this case. When this happens, the individual's hair starts to fall out, usually in patches. The degree of hair loss varies from person to person.
Rarely, the person loses all the hair on his or her head (alopecia areata totalis) or whole body (alopecia areata universalis). The person’s genetics may trigger the autoimmune response of alopecia areata, alongside other unknown triggers. For a few people, hair becomes back yet drops out again later. Some people’s hair does grow back. Every case is exceptional. The condition usually occurs when white platelets attack the cells in the hair follicles, making them shrink.
While researchers are uncertain why these changes take place, it appears that hereditary traits are included, as alopecia areata will probably happen in a person who has a relative with the same illness. One in five individuals with the infection have a relative who has also developed alopecia areata. It is also believed that it mostly occurs in people with a family history of other autoimmune diseases such as arthritis or type 1 diabetes.
Alopecia areata cannot be cured but it can be managed in terms of symptoms and hair can grow back. By and large, alopecia areata is treated with medications that are used for different conditions. Treatment choices for alopecia areata include:
A few people with alopecia areata use alternative therapy to treat their condition. These may include:
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!