Hair loss is increasingly becoming a major concern among millions of men and women across the globe. Some of these cases of hair loss are usually associated with alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is a medical condition whereby hair is lost from some or all areas of your body, but mostly on your scalp.
This condition is rare for children below three years of age. There appears to be a significant tendency of the people inheriting diffuse alopecia areata from their ancestors.
What are the causes?
The most recent evidence from research studies seem to suggest that this condition is caused by a certain abnormality in a person’s immune system. This abnormality results in autoimmunity, a certain misguided immune system that usually attacks its own body. Consequently, the immune system attacks certain body tissues. In this case, the hair follicles are usually attacked by the immune system, and, in turn, interferes with the normal formation of hair.
What are the symptoms?
One of the most common signs and symptoms is the presence of one or more clearly visible hair loss spots on your scalp. If you spot a generalized thinning of hair through out your scalp, then you are suffering from this pattern of alopecia areata. At times, you may lose all of your hair from your scalp.
Who can be affected?
This generalized thinning of the scalp hair occurs mostly among adults 30-60 years old. However, it can also occur in people who are aged more than 60 years, but rarely on toddlers. If you did not know, allow me to bring to your awareness that this condition is contagious.
Additionally, it should be differentiated from the normal hair shedding that might occur after discontinuation of birth control pills, or the kind of hair shedding that comes after birth, in the case of pregnant women. Care should be taken when diagnosing this condition, as there are many other health conditions that might be confused with it.
It has proved almost impossible to establish the cause of diffuse type of alopecia areata. Regardless, there are numerous treatment options, but none of them can be said to predict the course of this condition with certainty. For many years, people have used injections of steroids, shampoos, and creams for the scalp. An effective prevention method is yet to be determined, but reduction of emotional stress is said to be helpful.