Both children and adults get hair loss due to the autoimmune condition called alopecia areata. It usually starts off as a few bald spots on the scalp and slowly spreads to affect additional hair follicles. The severity of the condition and your quality of life can be significantly reduced by learning how to avoid alopecia areata from spreading early on.
It’s critical to first comprehend how the condition causes hair loss in order to understand how to stop alopecia areata from expanding. Similar to how the immune system assaults bacteria and viruses, alopecia areata in women results in the immune system mistakenly attacking the body’s hair follicles. The hair follicles stop producing new hair because of this.
Alopecia areata may also exhibit the following additional symptoms:
- Changed fingernails, such as dents, white patches, roughness, thinning, and splitting.
- There may be some slight skin irritation or itching where hair loss is about to start or has already started.
- It may cause sinus discomfort or eye irritation and loss of eyebrows and eyelashes.
How a dermatologist diagnoses Alopecia Areata
Even though alopecia areata isn’t the only cause of hair loss, your board-certified dermatologist will be able to identify it if they closely inspect the parts of your skin where hair is falling out. It may be necessary to do a biopsy of the bald area or to remove a few hairs in some circumstances. Your dermatologist will perform a biopsy by removing a sample of the troubled skin and examining it under a microscope. Using a dermatoscopy, a dermatologist may also examine your scalp. A blood test can occasionally be useful in identifying immune-related illnesses like alopecia areata in women and other autoimmune diseases.
Ways to stop Alopecia Areata from spreading or worsening
Your dermatologist will take the time to find out how to treat the skin areas and how to prevent the condition from deteriorating or spreading if you are diagnosed with alopecia areata. It is advisable to avoid needless hair or scalp trauma when trying to stop the progression of alopecia areata. You should also reduce stress and keep track of your nutrition. Since an immune response causes the disease, figuring out your particular trigger will need some trial and error, but your dermatologist will assist you in this.
Treatments for Alopecia Areata
One or more of the following therapies can be helpful for patients older than 10 with a few spots of alopecia areata:
The most effective treatment for people who have a few patches of hair loss is corticosteroid injections. This medicine is injected into bald spots, and they are typically given every four to eight weeks as needed. Within 12 weeks after receiving corticosteroid injections, at least half of 127 participants with patchy hair loss in one trial experienced hair growth. The use of oral systemic steroids is another possibility.
Minoxidil is a medication that can help maintain the stimulation of hair growth on the scalp, in the beard area, and in the eyebrows. Two to three times each day should be administered. Most older people are thought to benefit from minoxidil.
Other alopecia areata medicine options, especially in children, are corticosteroid creams. Topical corticosteroids applied on the bald patches once or twice a day, as directed by your dermatologist, can help encourage hair development. Another medical intervention that has been thought to be successful is phototherapy.