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Types of Alopecia
Alopecia Areata – Used to describe hair loss occurring in patches anywhere on the body.
Alopecia Totalis – Total loss of the hair on the scalp.
Alopecia Universalis – Total loss of all hair on the body.
Alopecia Oophaiais – A band of Alopecia which encircles the hair line, usually a marker of a more severe onset.
Alopecia Barbae – Loss of facial hair (for a man) especially in the beard area.
Alopecia Mucinosa – A type of Alopecia which results in scaly patches.
Androgenetic Alopecia – Also known as male pattern baldness.
Alopecia is defined as a hair loss disease that affects men, women and children. The onset of hair loss is often sudden, random and frequently recurrent. While the disease itself is not damaging to the person’s health, coping with hair loss can prove challenging. The exact cause of Alopecia Areata is presently not known, although it is generally agreed that it is a disorder of the autoimmune system.
In Alopecia areata, the affected hair follicles are mistakenly attacked by a person’s own immune system, resulting in the arrest of the anagen (hair growth) stage and a move to the telogen (resting) phase where the hairs are then abruptly shed.
We would advise visiting us for alopecia after you have visited your GP and/or if you are not happy with the service you have received from the NHS.
We can help correct any underlying issues that may influence hair loss and direct your GP or specialist to medications or treatment that they have not provided or thought of.
Usually scarring alopecia goes unnoticed until it affects a significant portion of the hair, this can be due to auto-immune issues, bacterial infections, physical or chemical assaults to the scalp.
Unlike the usual Alopecia Areata etc., Scarring Alopecia will cause the destruction of the hair follicle completely and so causes permanent hair loss.
We would always recommend visiting your doctors initially for any scalp problem, however, it is very common for the GP to misdiagnose a scarring alopecia.
If you feel as though your hair has changed or your scalp does not feel right, or you are not happy with the diagnosis (or lack of one) given, we would suggest booking in for a consultation where we can usually highlight any problems the GP has missed and refer you back to your doctor with an explanation of the issue and the treatment path to take.
Unfortunately, there is not yet any reliable cure for Alopecia Areata. Luckily the hair usually grows back slowly by itself. Sometimes the new hair may regrow grey or white, but after a while the original colour usually returns.
Many treatments have been introduced for Alopecia Areata, but the results are variable – no one has yet devised anything that works for everyone. Some lotions applied to the scalp do seem to result in temporary improvement in some people, but the hair can fall out again as soon as they are stopped.
Medicines which are often tried including topical steroids, Minoxidil, steroid injections into the scalp, irritants such as Dithranol or Oral steroid tablets, None of which are cures, but all of which may be pursued in certain circumstances.