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Alopecia - Know Ways Of Tackling It!

Dr. B. Lakshmi Divya 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Hyderabad
Alopecia - Know Ways Of Tackling It!

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?

  1. Medical Treatment: Minoxidil helps in stimulating hair growth and also prevents further hair loss. Other commonly used therapies include corticosteroid creams and steroid injections and ointment. In certain cases, photo-chemotherapy can be used as a part of the treatment plan to promote hair growth. Photo-chemotherapy is a type of radiation therapy that combines ultraviolet radiation along with oral medications as a follow-up.
  2. Alternate Therapy
    • If you wish, you can also choose alternative therapies to treat this condition. These therapies include:
    • Acupuncture (on the scalp)
    • Aromatherapy
    • Herbal supplements
    • Vitamin supplements (like vitamin E)
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Alopecia In Men And Women - What Can Trigger It?

Dr. Chinmoy Raj 87% (10 ratings)
MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Bhubaneswar
Alopecia In Men And Women - What Can Trigger It?

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:

  1. Scarring Alopecia: Here, chances of a hair regrowth is next to impossible as scarring alopecia results in complete destruction of the hair follicles.
  2. Non-Scarring Alopecia: This is less severe with a strong possibility of hair regrowth as non-scarring alopecia does not destroy the hair follicles.

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

  1. Genetics and hereditary: In some people, Alopecia may be more of a genetic and hereditary problem, a condition that is medically known as Androgenic Alopecia. Androgenic Alopecia can affect all and sundry, irrespective of their age and sex. Androgenic alopecia in males is known as Male Pattern Baldness and in females as Female Pattern Baldness. While the hair fall is rapid and severe, the hair growth is slow. In some cases, the hair follicles cease to grow beyond a certain length, resulting in short hair.
  2. Pregnancy: Many women suffer from a type of alopecia called Telogen Effluvium during their pregnancy. The condition is often a reversible and temporary problem that improves with time. Hormonal changes, stress, fatigue, insomnia and related pregnancy woes may trigger the severe hair fall during pregnancy. Some women also suffer from postpartum hair fall. The trigger here can be an imbalance in the estrogen level, the use of birth control pills, or even stress.
  3. Hormonal Imbalance: Hormonal imbalance can wreak havoc, giving rise to serious health complications with alopecia being one of them. Androgen (male sex hormone) is one such hormone whose imbalance can trigger Alopecia. The elevated levels of Androgen in the hair follicles are known to inhibit the hair growth. Hair loss can also be an outcome of Estrogen (female sex hormone) deficiency. Some women who had their menopause are likely to suffer from Alopecia.
  4. Certain medical conditions such as Alopecia Areata (an Autoimmune disorder that triggers sudden and rapid hair fall with the appearance of bald patches on the scalp), Scalp infections, Dermatological problems ( Lichen Planus, Sarcoidosis), PCOS, Thyroid problems, to name a few, are often responsible for severe hair fall.
  5. Some other factors that may result in alopecia include, excessive use of hair styling products, rapid weight loss, surgery, trauma, or a person undergoing radiation therapy.
3547 people found this helpful

I have alopecia areata on face and also pigmentation along with warts. Please suggest any treatment.

Dr. Rushali Angchekar 95% (70469 ratings)
Homeopath, Sindhudurg
I have alopecia areata on face and also pigmentation along with warts. Please suggest any treatment.
Alopecia areata is the loss of hair in circular or oval patches from the scalp or elsewhere such as eyebrows, beard, etc. Homeopathic treatment is very effective in dealing with alopecia areata, pigmentation & warts. Send me pic of beard, warts ,pigmentation. Homoeopathy provide an effective and a permanent  solution to this problem. No chance of recurrence. You can consult me online for homoeopathic treatment without side effects.
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Does Steroids Or Minoxidil Cause Many Side Effects In Alopecia Areata?

Dr. Rohit Shah 90% (430 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) And Naturopath (ND)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Surat
Does Steroids Or Minoxidil Cause Many Side Effects In Alopecia Areata?

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.

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.

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Can Alopecia Areata Be Cured Naturally?

Dermatologist, Kolkata
Can Alopecia Areata Be Cured Naturally?

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:

  • Coconut Oil - The use of this natural oil has been continuing since ages in different purposes. Presently, it is exhibiting a proven efficiency to activate the hair revival and growth process due to the presence of nutrients like iron, vitamin K, vitamin E, and so on. You only have to heat the coconut oil and apply it on the scalp throughout an entire day. Then in the next day, wash the scalp using shampoo and continue the process every day to attain the desired outcome.
  • Onions - This edible item not just enriches the taste of meals but is also able to nip the alopecia disorder in the bud. It is mainly because of the presence of components like sulfur that activates the hair re-growth process quite conveniently. You just have to extract the natural juice and smear the entire scalp with it. Just wait till fifteen minutes and then rinse your head to remove the juice. Never forget to continue the process two times in the week. It is actually a generic form of alopecia treatment that can be done easily.
  • Garlic - People may consider it a bit awkward but this edible item really has the potential to curb the early alopecia areata symptoms and to ensure the normal hair revival process.  The main reason of such possibility is due to the presence of ingredients like calcium, zinc, and sulfur that comes with the proven ability to activate the scalp blood circulation, strengthening and cleansing follicles alongside boosting the level. Individuals only have to mix the juice of garlic with hone before administering in the scalp. Allow the mixture to stay until twenty minutes before washing the scalp with a light shampoo. It is enough to carry out the process three times each week.
  • Cinnamon Powder - The herbal powder is known to be an excellent stimulant. As a result, it is able to raise the scalp blood movement that ends up in strengthening and nourishing the follicles to revive the hair production normally.  You just have to mix this powder with water to prepare a paste. Now, apply it on to your scalp and allow the mixture to settle down till thirty minutes. After that, remove this mixture by rinsing the scalp with water and a light shampoo. It is enough to continue the method for each alternate period.
  • Fenugreek - Once noticing the prominent alopecia areata symptoms and signs on the scalp, you must start using these small seeds as early as possible. This edible item is abundant with ingredients like lecithin, nicotinic acid, and protein which collectively function to boost the follicles and promote the natural hair revival. You only need to have the natural oil of coconut to prepare a mixture with these seeds. After the mixture is developed in a paste, administer it properly in the bald portions. It is necessary to allow the mixture to be settled until twenty minutes before rinsing it with water.

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.

4 people found this helpful

I have problem in about alopecia and insomnia since 4-5 years. My skin and hair gets damage totally. Please suggest me to get relief.

Dr. Karuna Chawla 97% (68784 ratings)
Homeopath, Noida
I have problem in about alopecia and insomnia since 4-5 years. My skin and hair gets damage totally. Please suggest m...
Hi, Insomnia can be a cause of hair fall. Do you sleep or take a nap in the daytime. If so then stop it. If you are not able to sleep, do not watch tv or mobile whats app etc. Read a good book. Switch off tv at least 30 mins before bedtime. Drink warm milk before going to bed. Do some exercise daily. Eat healthy well-balanced food. Finish your dinner at least 2 hours before bedtime. Also, dinner should be light for more details you can consult me.
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Know About Ayurvedic Treatment For Baldness!

MD - Ayurveda
Ayurvedic Doctor, Nagpur
Know About  Ayurvedic Treatment For Baldness!

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.

  • Genetic tendencies

  • Environmental triggers

  • Medicines

  • Long illness

  • Exposure to chemicals

  • Nutritional deficiency

  • Thyroid dysfunction

  • Extreme Stress

  • Vaccines

  • Local skin disease

  • Pregnancy

Ayurveda Management-

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:

  1. 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.

  2. Ayurvedic Oil Application: Jasminum grandifolium induced medicated herbal hair oil is highly effective for treating baldness.

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    • Herbal tea like liquorice tea and peppermint tea.

    • Seeds and nuts like soaked almond, sesame seed and sunflower seed.

    • Egg white, turkey, chicken, and fish.
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I am suffering from alopecia areata. Hair loss in my face. Patches are formed in my chin. Please help me.

Dr. G.R. Agrawal 94% (26136 ratings)
DHMS (Hons.)
Homeopath, Patna
I am suffering from alopecia areata.
Hair loss in my face.
Patches are formed in my chin.
Please help me.
Hi, Lybrate user, an image of your affected part be needed to assess the exact condition, there of, privetly. Till, then take homoeo medicine: @ selenium 200 -5 drops, thrice. Avoid ,junk food, alcohol and nicotine. Tk, care.
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I am suffering from alopecia baldness, but I have a dandruff problem too. If I skip one day without washing hair it becomes too smelly and my hair has become very dry too.

Dr. Jayvirsinh Chauhan 92% (29384 ratings)
MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Vadodara
I am suffering from alopecia baldness, but I have a dandruff problem too. If I skip one day without washing hair it b...
Hello lybrate-user. Take homoeopathic medicine thuja 200 one dose every week. Apply cochlearia q locally. It is better to consult and take proper homoeopathc treatment.
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I have two issues 1. From last 1 week when I wake up in the morning I feel a lot of leg pain and it goes away after 1-2 hours. I am taking 7-8 hours of sleep. Please help 2. My hairs are falling regularly and I believe it is a type of pattern baldness because only my side hairs have fallen off and I can clearly see baldness equally on both sides. I hope I will get some good advice.

Dr. Karuna Chawla 97% (68784 ratings)
Homeopath, Noida
I have two issues
1. From last 1 week when I wake up in the morning I feel a lot of leg pain and it goes away after 1...
You are suffering from leg pain even after a good nights sleep. U need to do thyroid profile, cbc, vitd, vit b12, blood sugar fasting, calcium from some lab. For hair fall hair fall is a common problem nowadays. Also, hair fall gets increased in rainy season. If it's mild increase in hair fall, it will soon recover. But if problem persist, then you should start hair fall treatment. Do you have dandruff problem also. Regularly wash your hair with mild shampoo. 1.vitamin for hair loss.(a, b and c) 2.enrich diet with protein. 3.scalp massage with essential oils. Take coconut oil and heat it up so that it is warm, but not too hot. Massage your scalp with this hot oil for a few minutes. 4.avoid brushing wet hair. 5.garlic juice, onion juice or ginger juice. 6.keep yourself hydrated. 7.rub green tea into your hair. 8.put on a shower cap for an hour then shampoo your hair. It helps to stop hair loss and promote hair growth. 9.avoid hairstyles that pull on the hairline. 10. Ditch hair tools that use high heat. 11. Be wary of chemical processing. 12. Drink water to hydrate your body. 13. U need proper constitutional med to get permanent relief. Homoeopathy can help you in this case. It not only check hair fall but also boost up hair growth.
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