Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disease that causes hair loss, meaning it attacks the immune system, making it difficult for your body to recognize threats from outsiders like bacteria or viruses.
According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF), it is a widespread condition affecting 6.8 million people in the USA with a lifetime rate of 2.1%. It can affect anyone at any age and gender, although men and women experience it differently.
In Alopecia, patches of hair start to fall out due to external and internal stressors on the body and genetic conditions. This article discusses alopecia areata, how to stop alopecia areata from spreading, and some natural treatments for alopecia areata.
What Is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata, also known as spot baldness, is a condition that causes hair loss in one or more areas of the body. The immune system breakdown is thought to cause the autoimmune disease alopecia areata. It can affect both children and adults, and it begins with small patches of hair loss in symmetrically distributed areas of the scalp, growing over time to result in large areas of baldness.
In rare cases, the entire scalp's hair (alopecia totalis) or all body hair is lost (alopecia universalis). Both permanent and temporary hair loss is possible. It is not the same as pattern hair loss, which is more common in men.
Common Causes Of Alopecia Areata
Our immune system works as a defense mechanism and protects our body against foreign invaders (like infection-causing bacteria and viruses.) However, if you have alopecia areata symptoms, understand that your immune system has misidentified your healthy hair follicles as foreign invaders and is attacking them. This process affects the foundation of your hair follicles and results in hair loss. There is no definitive explanation for why this occurs.
Alopecia areata symptoms can also occur as a result of extreme stress. If anyone in your family has alopecia areata, you are at a higher genetic risk of developing the disease. A family member suffering from an autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, or diabetes, will raise the possibility of another family member inheriting alopecia areata.
Hair can grow in some Alopecia Areata patients and then fall out again. It regenerates and persists in some people. It is a one-of-a-kind disease, with each case being distinct. According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, this type of hair loss is not always permanent.
Hair can regrow because the hair follicles are alive. Some treatments can help your hair grow faster and prevent future hair loss, as well as creative ways to hide hair loss. There are also resources available to assist you in coping with stress, which can cause hair loss.
6 Different Types of Alopecia
While we all lose hair occasionally, excessive hair loss can be concerning. At this stage, it is critical to determine the type and stage of hair fall. If you're wondering how to tell the difference between forms of alopecia areata, there are a few key distinctions that will assist you in determining which one you have.
1) Alopecia Totalis
Causes hair loss all over the scalp.
2) Alopecia Universalis
Is an advanced form of Alopecia totalis. As the name suggests, this type causes hair loss throughout the scalp, face, and body parts.
3) Alopecia Areata (patchy)
Is distinguished by the presence of one or more coin-sized (usually round or oval) patches on the scalp or other body parts. This type can progress to alopecia totalis (complete scalp hair loss) or alopecia universalis (total body hair loss), but it is more commonly patchy.
4) Persistent Patchy Alopecia Areata
Is hair loss that persists for an extended period without progressing to more severe forms such as totalis or universalis.
5) Diffuse Alopecia Areata
6) Alopecia Ophiasis Areata
Is characterized by a band-like pattern of hair loss on the scalp's sides and lower back (the occipital region). Ophiasis alopecia areata can be more demanding to treat because it does not respond as quickly to medication.
For many years, hair loss and regrowth in all types of alopecia areata can be unpredictable and cyclical (happening repeatedly). Hair may regrow and stop falling out in some people. Alopecia areata currently has no cure. Your hair follicles, however, remain active regardless of the type. This means that hair regrowth can occur years after severe or widespread hair loss.
Signs And Symptoms Of Alopecia Areata
- Alopecia areata is distinguished by a bald patch on the scalp that is round or oval. However, it can take any shape. Men suffering from this condition may develop one or more bald patches in their beards.
- Some people can develop ophiasis, a bald band on their scalp. It can also result in widespread hair loss, leaving a person with little or no hair on their head and, in some cases, no hair at all.
- Loss of some or all of one's eyelashes, brows, or both can signify the symptoms.
- Alopecia areata affects 10% to 20% of the population, resulting in red nails, pits in the nails, ridges that run the length of the nails, or nails that feel like sandpaper. Those who lose a lot of hair may develop brittle, split nails.
- Hair loss patches may grow larger. It can sometimes merge to form a single large bald spot. Grey and white hairs frequently remain in areas of hair loss, which is another sign of alopecia areata. Hair begins to regrow on its own where it has fallen out. Hair begins to grow in one bald spot while falling out in another.
- According to one study, people with alopecia areata experienced the most hair loss in November, followed by October and January. Between May and August, patients had the fewest flare-ups. A cold could be the source of your alopecia areata.
- Alopecia areata rarely causes pain or other symptoms. Some people, however, claim that they experience tingling, itching, or burning on the skin, where their hair will fall out just before losing their tresses. Your nails can become extremely brittle and crack if you have alopecia universalis.
This can be agonizing. While alopecia areata can affect anyone, some people have a higher risk.
Can You Stop Alopecia From Spreading?
- The first step is to identify it in the early stage. Through the pattern of your hair loss, experts can examine and help you identify and provide a diagnosis. The intensity with which you are losing your hair and the symptoms that are occurring are the primary tools for diagnosing alopecia areata.
- Hair from the affected area of the scalp is observed under a microscope to diagnose alopecia areata. A quick and easy way is using trichoscopy, which can examine your scalp psoriasis.
- A lab test or a skin biopsy may be required to treat Alopecia areata, but this is extremely rare. A blood test may help you diagnose alopecia areata if autoimmune diseases do not cause your symptoms.
- At an early stage, some natural treatments for Alopecia areata can be beneficial. However, please know that the journey is personal and there is no approved research to support it.
Alopecia Areata Treatment Natural Remedies
Because there is no cure for Alopecia areata and no medication approved for its treatment, here are some natural treatments for the same. The main objective of this treatment is to reduce immune response and promote hair growth. It can be effective, especially for people with milder forms of the disease (less than 50% hair loss).
A High-Quality Multivitamin And Mineral Supplement:
A multivitamin and mineral supplement will provide your body with essential nutrients that promote hair growth. Ginseng and biotin supplements are two supplements that have been shown to promote hair growth.
Applying lavender oil to the scalp can help promote hair growth. Castor oil has the quality to stimulate hair growth. Coconut oil can help prevent hair from falling out and provide nutritional support. Fish oil is another factor for gut improvement and can protect your immune system.
Aloe vera gel is a natural substance that can help rejuvenate your Hair follicles. A mixture of onion juice and garlic gel on Alopecia areata-affected areas can be an excellent hair fall solution for hair regrowth.
Vitamin C is essential for hair growth. An absence of this nutrient can lead to brittle nails, dry and damaged hair, weak follicles, and so on. Include Vitamin C in your diet for a head full of hair and healthy skin.
According to aromatherapy research, a massage for your hair using blends of different essential oils like lavender, rosewood, and thyme might help some people recover from the condition known as alopecia areata.
Herbal remedies such as ginseng, Chinese hibiscus, and chamomile tea can help relieve scalp irritation and promote gut health.
Green tea has numerous advantages, and because it is so widely available, it may be the most basic and straightforward natural treatment for alopecia areata. You can also apply a cooled version of green tea to your scalp to soothe inflammation.
Diet And Stress:
Chronic stress can cause alopecia areata. Avoid becoming stressed because it promotes the progression of this disease. Maintain a restricted diet or autoimmune specialized diets rich in meats and vegetables.
Aside from these precautions, try to cover your scalp, protect your eyes if you're losing your eyelashes, and keep cold temperatures away from your affected areas.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes hair loss. While genetics play a role in the onset of Alopecia or hair loss, stressful events or a poor diet can also play a role. If you have Alopecia, you must first determine the type of Alopecia you have and then seek treatment.
However, you should see a doctor if you have excessive hair loss or thinning. Traya’s FREE hair test helps understand the type, stage, and cause of your hair loss to prescribe customized treatment plans for each patient. Doctors and experts back up our customized solutions using three sciences of Ayurveda, Dermatology, and Nutrition. If you are experiencing hair loss, visit Traya before it is too late!
Q1 - What Is Alopecia Areata Caused By?
Autoimmune diseases attack your body instead of the foreign intruder because your body sees it as a threat and tries to subdue it, resulting in alopecia areata.
Q2 - How Can Alopecia Areata Be Cured?
While there is no permanent or certified solution, it is necessary to take said precaution. Read about Alopecia Areata to better understand the problem. If you resonate with it, take Traya’s Free Hair Test to leave no room for assumption. Our experts will guide you through your journey of hair loss.
Q3 - Is Alopecia Areata Permanent?
Alopecia areata currently has no cure. Your hair follicles, however, remain active regardless of the type. This means that hair regrowth can occur years after severe or widespread hair loss.
Q4 - Can You Grow Back Hair After Facing Alopecia Or Hair Loss?
It depends on the stage and type of hair loss you are dealing with. The root cause can be identified and fixed if it is at a curable stage. Take Traya’s FREE hair test to understand your hair conditions better. It is a holistic process backed by 3 sciences that helps you get the best possible results.