Tag Archives: Alopecia areata

Baldness

 

Baldness involves the state of lacking hair where it often grows, especially on the head. The most common form of baldness is a progressive hair thinning condition called androgenic alopecia or ‘male pattern baldness’ that occurs in adult male humans and other species. The severity and nature of baldness can vary greatly; it ranges from male and female pattern alopecia (androgenetic alopecia, also called androgenetic alopecia or alopecia androgenetica), alopecia areata, which involves the loss of some of the hair from the head, and alopecia totalis, which involves the loss of all head hair, to the most extreme form, alopecia universalis, which involves the loss of all hair from the head and the body. Treatments for the various forms alopecia have limited success. Some hair loss sufferers make use of so-called “clinically proven treatments” such as finasteride and topically applied minoxidil (in solution) in an attempt to prevent further loss and regrow hair. As a general rule, it is easier to maintain remaining hair than it is to regrow; however, the treatments mentioned will help some of the users suffering from Androgenetic alopecia, and there are new technologies in cosmetic transplant surgery and hair replacement systems that can be completely undetectable. The effectiveness of finasteride and minoxidil is not universally accepted…..CLICK & SEE

Background, cause and incidence:
The average human head has about 100,000 hair follicles. Each follicle can grow about 20 individual hairs in a person’s lifetime. Average hair loss is about 100 strands a day.

Incidence of pattern baldness varies from population to population based on genetic background. Environmental factors do not seem to affect this type of baldness greatly. One large scale study in Maryborough, in central Victoria (Australia) showed the prevalence of mid-frontal hair loss increases with age and affects 57% of women and 73.5% of men aged 80 and over.

Male pattern is characterized by hair receding from the lateral sides of the forehead, known as “receding hairline”. Receding hairlines are usually seen in males above the ages of 25.

An additional bald patch may develop on top (vertex). The trigger for this type of baldness (called androgenetic alopecia) is DHT, a powerful sex hormone, body, and facial hair growth promoter that can adversely affect the hair on the head and prostate.

The mechanism by which DHT accomplishes this is not yet understood. In genetically-prone scalps, DHT initiates a process of follicular miniaturization. Through the process of follicular miniaturization, hair shaft width is progressively decreased until scalp hair resembles fragile vellus hair or “peach fuzz” or else becomes non-existent. Onset of hair loss sometimes begins as early as end of puberty, and is mostly genetically determined. Male pattern baldness is classified on the Hamilton-Norwood scale I-VIII.

It was previously believed that baldness was inherited. While there is some basis for this belief, both parents contribute to their offspring’s likelihood of hair loss. Most likely, inheritance is technically “autosomal dominant with mixed penetrance” (see ‘baldness folklore’ below)

There are several other kinds of baldness:

Traction alopecia is most commonly found in people with ponytails or cornrows who pull on their hair with excessive force.

Trichotillomania is the loss of hair caused by compulsive pulling and bending of the hairs. It tends to occur more in children than in adults. In this condition the hairs are not absent from the scalp but are broken. Where they break near the scalp they cause typical, short, “exclamation mark” hairs.

Traumas such as chemotherapy, childbirth, major surgery, poisoning, and severe stress may cause a hair loss condition known as telogen effluvium.

Worrisome hair loss often follows childbirth without causing actual baldness. In this situation, the hair is actually thicker during pregnancy due to increased circulating oestrogens. After the baby is born, the oestrogen levels fall back to normal pre-pregnancy levels and the additional hair foliage drops out. A similar situation occurs in women taking the fertility-stimulating drug clomiphene.

Iron deficiency is a common cause of thinning of the hair, though frank baldness is not usually seen.
Radiation to the scalp, as happens when radiotherapy is applied to the head for the treatment of certain cancers there, can cause baldness of the irradiated areas.

Some mycotic infections can cause massive hair loss.

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder also known as “spot baldness” that can result in hair loss ranging from just one location (Alopecia areata monolocularis) to every hair on the entire body (Alopecia areata universalis).

Localized or diffuse hair loss may also occur in cicatricial alopecia (lupus erythematosus, lichen plano pilaris, folliculitis decalvans, central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, postmenopausal frontal fibrosing alopecia, etc.). Tumours and skin outgrowths also induce localized baldness (sebaceous nevus, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma).

Hypothyroidism can cause hair loss, typically frontal, and is particularly associated with thinning of the outer third of the eyebrows (syphilis also can cause loss of the outer third of the eyebrows)

Hyperthyroidism can also cause hair loss, which is parietal rather than frontal.

Temporary loss of hair can occur in areas where sebaceous cysts are present for considerable duration; normally one to several weeks in length.

Etymology:
The term alopecia (al-oh-PEE-she-uh) is formed from the Greek αλώπηξ (alopex), meaning fox. The origin of this usage is because this animal sheds its coat twice a year.

The term bald likely derives from the English word balde, which means “white, pale”, or Celtic ball, which means “white patch or blaze”, such as on a horse’s head

Evolutionary theories of male pattern baldness:
There is no consensus regarding the details of the evolution of male pattern baldness. Most theories regard it as resulting from sexual selection. A number of other primate species also experience hair loss following puberty, and some primate species clearly use an enlarged forehead, created both anatomically and through strategies such as frontal balding, to convey increased status and maturity. The assertion that MPB is intended to convey a social message is supported by the fact that the distribution of androgen receptors in the scalp differs between men and women, and older women or women with high androgen levels often exhibit diffuse thinning of hair as opposed to male pattern baldness.

One theory, advanced by Muscarella and Cunningham, suggests baldness evolved in males through sexual selection as an enhanced signal of aging and social maturity, whereby aggression and risk-taking decrease and nurturing behaviours increase.(1) This may have conveyed a male with enhanced social status but reduced physical threat, which could enhance ability to secure reproductive partners and raise offspring to adulthood.

In a study by Muscarella and Cunnhingham, males and females viewed 6 male models with different levels of facial hair (beard and moustache or clean) and cranial hair (full head of hair, receding and bald). Participants rated each combination on 32 adjectives related to social perceptions. Males with facial hair and those with bald or receding hair were rated as being older than those who were clean-shaven or had a full head of hair. Beards and a full head of hair were seen as being more aggressive and less socially mature, and baldness was associated with more social maturity.

Latest research

The LIPH gene makes LIPH, a protein that isn’t thoroughly understood but seems to play a role in normal hair formation and growth”

http://www.hon.ch/News/HSN/536000.html

http://www.webmd.com/news/20061109/inherited-hair-loss-may-be-upped-by-gene-glitch

http://www.forbes.com/forbeslife/health/feeds/hscout/2006/11/09/hscout536000.html

“The so-called hairless gene works by repressing the production of a protein called wise, which can hinder the process of hair growth if it is left to accumulate.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4283302.stm

DSG4 gene

http://www.hairlosstalk.com/newsletter/article209.htm http://www.hairlosstalk.com/download/CELL1132249.pdf

WNT GENE

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6661849.stm

Preventing and reversing hair loss :
In the USA, there are only 2 drug-based treatments that have been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and one product that has been cleared by the FDA for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, otherwise known as male or female pattern hair loss. The two FDA approved treatments are finasteride (marketed for hair loss as Propecia) and minoxidil.

Finasteride:
A pharmaceutical company reportedly sought to find the smallest effective quantity of finasteride and test its long-term effects on 1,553 men between ages 18 and 41 with mild to moderate thinning hair. Based on their research, 1 mg daily was selected, and after 2 years of daily treatment, over 83% of the 1,553 men experiencing male hair loss had actually maintained or increased their hair count from baseline. Visual assessments concluded that over 80% had improved appearances.

Minoxidil:
Minoxidil was first used in tablet form as a medicine to treat high blood pressure, but it was noticed that some patients being treated with Minoxidil experienced excessive hair growth (hypertrichosis) as a side-effect. Further research showed that by applying topical Minoxidil solution directly to the scalp, it could prove to be beneficial to those experiencing hair loss.

FDA clinical trials showed that 65% of men with androgenetic alopecia maintained or increased their hair count from the use of minoxidil 5% in liquid form. 54% of these men experienced moderate to dense regrowth and 46% experienced hair loss stabilisation and mild regrowth.

In controlled clinical studies of women aged 18-45, 2 out of 3 women with moderate degrees of hereditary hair loss reported re-growth after using 2% minoxidil. Initial results occur at 4 months with maximum results occurring at 8 months.

Low-level laser therapy:
A low level laser is shone directly on the scalp to stimulate hair growth through “Photo-Biostimulation” of the hair follicles. One product of these low level laser therapies is the “Hairmax Lasercomb”. There is no peer-reviewed evidence to support this claim. There is some debate over the FDA’s acknowledgment of the Lasercomb, but it has been accepted by the FDA as effective in the submitted claims.[9] The Lasercomb was cleared by the FDA as being Substantially Equivalent (SE) to predicate devices legally marketed before May 28, 1978. This clearance is not the same as approval because it only applies to the lasercomb and not to any other similar laser based hair devices. The devices that the lasercomb proved itself equivalent to were a variety of FDA approved laser based/non hair growth devices intended for hair removal and pain relief, and 2 non FDA approved non laser based/hair growth devices such as the Raydo & Wonder Brush and the Vacuum Cap. These last two devices were sold in the early 1900’s and are well established as medical quackery, but they were legal to market at the time which does satisfy the FDA’s 510k SE criterea. The 510k number for the Lasercomb is K060305. The Leimo laser was recently approved by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) of Australia as a Class IIa Medical Device that regrows hair. Its ARTG number is 139 456.

Surgery
Surgery is another method of reversing hair loss and baldness, although it may be considered an extreme measure. The surgical methods used include hair transplantation, whereby hair-producing follicles are taken from the back and sides of the head and injected into bald or thinning areas.

Hair multiplication
Looking forward, the prospective treatment of hair multiplication/hair cloning, which extracts self-replenishing follicle stem cells, multiplies them many times over in the lab, and microinjects them into the scalp, has been shown to work in mice, and is currently under development, expected by some scientists to be available to the public in 2009–2015. Subsequent versions of the treatment are expected by some scientists to be able to cause these follicle stem cells to simply signal the surrounding hair follicles to rejuvenate. See Baldness treatments

In October 2006, UK biotechnology firm Intercytex announced they have successfully tested a method of removing hair follicles from the back of the neck, multiplying them and then reimplanting the cells into the scalp (Hair multiplication). The initial testing resulted in 70% of male patients regrowing hair. This treatment method is expected to be available to the public by 2009 .

In January 2007, Italian stem-cell researchers say they’ve come up with a new technique for curing baldness. Pierluigi Santi of a Genoa clinic said stem cells could be used to “multiply” hair roots. He said the clinic would be ready to perform its first hair transplants on priority patients – those who have lost their hair in fires or other accidents – within a few months. After that, he said, “we’ll open our doors to paying customers”. Santi’s approach works by splitting roots and growing new follicles.
Ketoconazole
Topical application of ketoconazole, which is both an anti-fungal and a potent 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, is often used as a supplement to other approaches.1

Unsaturated fatty acids
Particular unsaturated fatty acids such as gamma linolenic acid are 5 alpha reductase inhibitors if taken internally.

Placebos
Interestingly, placebo treatments in studies often have reasonable success rates, though not as high as the products being tested, and even similar side-effects as the products. For example, in Finasteride (Propecia) studies, the percent of patients with any drug-related sexual adverse experience was 3.8% compared with 2.0% in the placebo group.

Exercise
Regular aerobic exercise can help keep androgen levels (particularly free testosterone levels) naturally lower while maintaining overall health, lowering stress and increasing SHBG.

Weight training without aerobic exercise may increase testosterone. One study suggests that both heavy exercise and increased fat intake, in combination, are required for increased free testosterone in strength trainers. Increased total or free testosterone would help them build and repair muscle, but may cause susceptible individuals to lose hair.
However, there is at least one study that indicates a decline in free testosterone combined with an increase in strength due to an (unspecified) strength training regime.

Stress reduction
Stress reduction can be helpful in slowing hair loss. (see Baldness Folklore)


Immunosuppressants

Immunosuppressants applied to the scalp have been shown to temporarily reverse alopecia areata, though the side effects of some of these drugs make such therapy questionable.

Saw palmetto
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) is an herbal DHT inhibitor often claimed to be cheaper and have fewer side effects than finasteride and dutasteride. Unlike other 5alpha-reductase inhibitors, Serenoa repens induces its effects without interfering with the cellular capacity to secrete PSA. Saw palmetto extract has been demonstrated to inhibit both isoforms of 5-alpha-reductase unlike finasteride which only inhibits the (predominant) type 2 isoenzyme of 5-alpha-reductase.[13][14][15]

Polygonum multiflorum
Polygonum Multiflorum is a traditional Chinese cure for hair loss. P. multiflorum contains stilbene glycosides similar to resveratrol.


Beta sitosterol

Beta sitosterol, which is a constituent in many seed oils, can help to treat BHP by lowering cholesterol. If used for this purpose, an extract is best. Consuming large amounts of oil to get at small quantities of beta sitosterol is likely to exacerbate male pattern baldness.

Anti-androgens
While drastic, broad spectrum anti-androgens such as flutamide are sometimes used topically. Flutamide is potent enough to have a feminizing effect in men, including growth of the breasts.

Hedgehog agonists
Through 2006, a drug development company spent $1,000,000 on a hair growth program focused on the potential development of a topical hedgehog agonist for hair growth disorders, such as male pattern baldness and female hair loss. The hairloss research program was shut down in May 2007 because the process did not meet the proper safety standards.

WNT gene related
In May 2007, US company Follica Inc, announced they have licensed technology from the University of Pennsylvania which can regenerate hair follicles by reawakening genes which were once active only in the embryo stage of human development.

Concealing hair loss

Head
One method of hiding hair loss is the “comb over”, which involves restyling the remaining hair to cover the balding area. It is usually a temporary solution, useful only while the area of hair loss is small. As the hair loss increases, a comb over becomes less effective. When this reaches a stage of extreme effort with little effect — it can make the person the object of teasing or scorn.

Another method is to wear a hat or a hairpiece — a wig or toupee. The wig is a layer of artificial or natural hair made to resemble a typical hair style. In most cases the hair is artificial. Wigs vary widely in quality and cost. In the United States, the best wigs — those that look like real hair — cost up to tens of thousands of dollars. Organizations such as Wigs for Kids and Locks of Love collect individuals’ donations of their own natural hair to be made into wigs for young cancer patients who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy or other cancer treatment in addition to any type of hair loss.

Eyebrows
Though not as common as the loss of hair on the head, chemotherapy, hormone imbalance, forms of alopecia, and other factors can also cause loss of hair in the eyebrows. Artificial eyebrows are available to replace missing eyebrows or to cover patchy eyebrows.

Embracing baldness
Of course, instead of concealing hair loss, one may embrace it. A shaved head will grow stubble in the same manner and at the same rate as a shaved face. Many celebrities and athletes shave their heads. The general public has become accepting of the shaved head also.

Female baldness is less socially accepted.

Baldness folklore

There are many myths regarding the possible causes of baldness and its relationship with one’s virility (Masculinity) , intelligence, ethnicity, job, social class, wealth etc. While skepticism is warranted due to lack of scientific validation, some of these myths may have a degree of underlying truth.

  • “You inherit baldness from your mother’s father.”
    Previously, early baldness of the androgenic type was thought to be sex linked dominant in males and to be sex linked recessive in females.
    Research suggests that the gene for the androgen receptor, which is significant in determining probability for hair loss, is located on the X chromosome and so is always inherited from the mother’s side.There is a 50% chance that a person shares the same X chromosome as their maternal grandfather. Because women have two X chromosomes, they will have two copies of the androgen receptor gene while men only have one. However, research has also shown that a person with a balding father also has a significantly greater chance of experiencing hair loss.

Another model for the inheritance of baldness is “Autosomal dominant with mixed pentrance”. That is, you can get it from either parent and it presents variably.

  • “Intellectual activity or psychological problems can cause baldness.”
    This notion may be due to the fact that cholesterol is involved in the process of neurogenesis and also the base material from which the body ultimately manufactures DHT. While the notion that bald men are more intelligent may lack credibility in the modern world, in the ancient world if a person was bald it was likely that he had an adequate amount of fat in his diet. Thus, his mental development was probably not stunted by malnutrition during his crucial formative years, he was more likely to be wealthy, and also have had access to a formal education. However, a sedentary lifestyle is less likely to correlate with intelligence in the modern world, and dietary fat content is not linked to economic class in modern developed countries. Of course, aside from all these scientific reasons, baldness could be linked to intellect or wisdom simply due to the fact that people go bald as they age and become more experienced.
  • This is sometimes used as a steriotype in films, where the more intellectual or rather frustrated characters are most usually portrayed as bald and generally unattractive, as opposed to the main characters which are usually portrayed as attractive, fit, mentally stable and generally with no apparent hair problems.
    This same myth normally extends to considering people having intellectual jobs more prone to baldness problems compared to manual laborers, sometimes further extending the myth to male college or university students when compared to workers of the same age.The myth is suspect because counterexamples can be found in any case.
    There is evidence, confirmed by cross cultural studies, for an association between androgen levels and intellectual ability. These findings are controversial due to their implications regarding psychology and gender.
    Total testosterone exhibits a positive relation to tactual-spatial abilities and to the degree of lateralization. Total testosterone is negatively correlated with verbal fluency. Testosterone in the saliva is also significantly positively correlated to tactual-spatial test scores and, in addition, to field independence. DHT and the ratio DHT/total testosterone are positively related to verbal fluency and negatively to the degree of lateralization of tactual-spatial performance.
  • “One’s ethnicity can increase the chances of going bald.”
    This idea has been seen as somewhat descriminative and sensitive in nature, however studies have shown that men of Greek or Macedonian heritage have the highest percentage of bald or balding men. (age group 16-28, typical, non married, non-drug using, males) Studies done between 6 countries in Western Europe, incl. Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Ireland and 4 countries in Eastern Europe including Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Romania show that Greek men of the same age group and study period had the highest percentage of full crown baldness or Alopeciae totalis (front, top and back) Another typical study during the same period showed that Greek men, 1700 out of 2457 total studied males also suffered the highest amount of random alopecia areata among men (aged 16-28, typical, non-drug using males)
  • “Baldness can be caused by emotional stress, sexual frustration etc.”
    Emotional stress has been shown to accelerate baldness in genetically susceptible individuals.
    Stress due to sleep deprivation in military recruits lowered testosterone levels, but is not noted to have effected SHBG.
    Thus, stress due to sleep deprivation in fit males is unlikely to elevate DHT, which causes male pattern baldness. Whether it can cause hair loss by some other mechanism is not clear.
  • “Bald men are more ‘virile’ or sexually active than others.”
    Levels of free testosterone are strongly linked to libido and also DHT levels, but unless free testosterone is virtually non-existent levels have not been shown to affect virility. Men with androgenic alopecia are more likely to have a higher baseline of free androgens. However, sexual activity is multifactoral, and androgenic profile is also not the only determining factor in baldness. Additionally, because hair loss is progressive and free testosterone declines with age, a person’s hairline may be more indicative of their past than present disposition.
  • “Shaving hair makes it grow back stronger”
    Proposed as a popular remedy against baldness, it is very probably just an illusion similar to the one perceived after shaving one’s beard or mustache. Shaving one’s head doesn’t increase the number of healthy hair present on the scalp, and, after the remaining hair has grown a few millimeters, no enhancement in thickness or overall quality can be observed.
  • “Frequent ejaculation causes baldness”
    There are many misconceptions about what can help prevent hair loss, one of these being that frequent ejuculation may have an influence on MPB. Depending on frequency, it can raise or lower plasma testosterone. The claim that frequent ejaculations can cause baldness is often viewed with skepticism.
  • “Standing on one’s head alleviates baldness”
    The “blood-flow” theory, which led men to stand on their heads in the 1980s, can be found in the advertising for many of the fake hairloss treatments for sale on the internet. While Minoxidil is a vasodilator and is speculated to work, in part, by increasing blood flow to hair follicles, there is no evidence that standing on one’s head can alleviate baldness.
  • “Tight hats cause baldness.”
    While this may be a myth, hats do cause hair breakage and, to a lesser degree, split ends. Since hats are not washed as frequently as other clothing, they can also lead to scalp uncleanliness and possible Pityrosporum ovale contamination in men with naturally oily scalps.

Modern Baldness Treatment

Bladness Treatment Simplefied

Ayurvedic treatment for baldness……………………………………..(1)……..(2).…..(3)…….(4)

Homeopathic Treatment of Baldness………………………(1)………...(2).……….(3)

You may click to see:->Hereditary Baldness cannot be Avoided

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldness

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Alopecia Areata

 

Alopecia areata monolocularis describes baldness in only one spot. It may occur anywhere on the head.

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Alopecia areata is a form of hair loss from areas of the body, usually from the scalp. Because it causes bald spots on the head, especially in the first stages, it is sometimes called spot baldness. In 1–2% of cases, the condition can spread to the entire scalp (Alopecia totalis) or to the entire epidermis (Alopecia universalis). Alopecia areata multilocularis refers to multiple areas of hair loss.

If the patient loses all the hair on his/her scalp, the disease is then called Alopecia areata totalis.
If all body hair, including pubic hair, is lost, the diagnosis then becomes Alopecia areata universalis.
The disease may also be limited only to the beard (Alopecia areata barbae)

Causes
Alopecia areata is thought to be an autoimmune disease in which the body mistakenly treats its hair follicles as foreign tissue and suppresses or stops hair growth. It is not contagious but may be hereditary—there are a few recorded cases of babies being born with congenital alopecia areata. As with most autoimmune diseases, Alopecia areata is associated with increased risk of developing other autoimmune diseases, specifically systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE.
The most common cause of alopecia in men is oversensitivity to the hormone testosterone, producing a characteristic pattern of hair loss.

patchy hair loss is usually due to alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that causes bald patches to appear on the scalp surrounded by short, broken hairs. the hair will usually regrow within 6 months, but, in rare cases, alopecia areata can cause permanent loss of all body hair.

hairstyles that pull on the scalp are a common cause of patchy hair loss; if the pulling is continuous, hair loss may be permanent. patchy hair loss may be the result of a rare psychological disorder in which the hair is compulsively pulled. burns or skin disorders, such as ringworm, that scar the scalp may cause permanent patchy hair loss.

generalized hair loss is normal in elderly people. it may occur temporarily after pregnancy and is a common side effect of chemotherapy. other causes of thinning hair include acute illness, stress, and malnutrition.

Diagnosis
Alopecia areataFirst symptoms are small, soft, bald patches which can take just about any shape but are most usually round. Initial presentation most commonly occurs in the late teenage years and young children, but can happen with people of all ages. It most often affects the scalp but may occur on any hair-bearing part of the body. There may be different skin areas with hair loss and regrowth in the same body at the same time. It also may go into remission for a time, or permanently.

Another presentation of the condition are exclamation point hairs. Exclamation point hairs are hairs that become narrower along the length of the strand closer to the base, producing a characteristic ‘exclamation point’ appearance.

One diagnostic technique applied by medical professionals is to gently tug at a handful of hair along the edge of a patch with less strength than would be required to pull out healthy hair. In healthy hair, no hair should fall out or ripped hair should be distributed evenly across the tugged portion of the scalp. In cases of Alopecia, hair will tend to pull out easier along the edge of the patch where the follicles are already being attacked by the body’s immune system than away from the patch where they are still healthy. Professionals will usually remind patients that the hair that is pulled out would eventually fall naturally. The test is conducted only once to identify the condition and rule out a simple localized hairloss condition.

Treatment
About 50% of patients hair will regrow in one year without any treatment. If the affected region is small, it is reasonable to observe the progression of the illness as the problem often spontaneously regresses and the hair grows back. In cases where there is severe hair loss, there has been limited success treating alopecia areata with clobetasol or fluocinonide, steroid injections or cream. Steroid injections are commonly used in sites where there are small areas of hair loss on the head or especially where eyebrow hair has been lost. Some other medications used are minoxidil, irritants (anthralin or topical coal tar), and topical immunotherapy cyclosporine, each of which are sometimes used in different combinations.

Your doctor will probably be able to diagnose alopecia areata by the appearance of your scalp. this condition does not usually require treatment, but corticosteroids injected into the hairless patches may be effective in promoting regrowth. in most other cases of hair loss, the hair usually regrows once the underlying cause has been treated. hair loss during pregnancy usually regrows about 3 months after childbirth.

if your scalp has patchy scarring, you may need a skin biopsy to diagnose the underlying cause. scarred areas may be treated with topical corticosteroids or antifungal drugs, but if the damage is severe and has affected the hair follicles it is unlikely that new hair will grow.

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Prognosis
Effects of alopecia areata are mainly psychological (loss of self image due to hair loss). However, patients also tend to have a slightly higher incidence of asthma, allergies and atopic dermal ailments and even hypothyroidism. Loss of hair also means that the scalp burns more easily in the sun. Loss of nasal hair increases severity of hay fever and similar allergic conditions. They may also have aberrant nail formation because keratin forms both hair and nails.

Episodes of alopecia areata before puberty predispose one to recurrent episodes after puberty. Pitting of the fingernails can hint at a more severe or prolonged course.

Initial stages may be kept from increasing by applying topical corticosteroids. However, since the exact mechanisms are not ultimately understood, there is no known cure to date. Hair implants may help covering bald spots, but cannot guarantee satisfactory outcome, since the bald areas might expand. Wigs should be prescribed if patients, especially female patients, mention social discomfort.

It is widely believed that alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder, in which certain hair follicles are targeted by the body’s own immune system. There is evidence that T cell lymphocytes cluster around these follicles, causing inflammation and subsequent hair loss.

Some non-clinical treatment results have been observed through the ingestion of natural anti-inflammatory agents, particularly blackcurrant and borage oils in caplet form, and zinc supplement tablets.

Psychosocial issues
Alopecia can certainly be the cause of psychological stress. Because hair loss can lead to significant appearance changes, individuals may experience social phobia, anxiety, and depression. In severe cases where the chance of hair regrowth is slim, individuals need to adapt to the condition, rather than look for a cure. There is currently little provision for psychological treatment for people afflicted with alopecia.

Click to learn about Alopecia from Ayurvedic view point & treatment

Click for Alopecia Areata Information and Online Homeopathic Treatment ……….(1).….(2)…. (3)

Holistic Medicine For Alopecia Areata

TREATMENT OF ALOPECIA WITH CHINESE HERBSÂ

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

Resources:

http://www.charak.com/DiseasePage.asp?thx=1&id=160

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alopecia_areata

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