What is Alopecia Areata and What Causes It?
Alopecia areata is a relatively common condition that causes hair to fall out in small, distinct patches which may be more or less noticeable depending on the size and the location of the hair loss.
This may become particularly bothersome for somebody living with this type of condition if smaller patches of hair loss begin to connect and start to give the impression of larger bald patches. Hair loss may occur on any part of the body where hair grows naturally including the eyebrows, eyelashes, face and other body parts, but it most commonly occurs around the scalp.
Sometimes alopecia areata may result in total hair loss that may or may not grow back. In this particular circumstance, the condition can be referred to as alopecia universalis or alopecia areata. When hair does grow back on a person who has had alopecia universalis, it may also be inclined to fall out again in the future, maybe even years after the condition first appeared.
Much like other skin conditions like rosacea and vitiligo, alopecia areata can be broadly characterized as an autoimmune disorder. A person who already has one autoimmune disorder is likely to suffer from others as well. This is because of the nature of autoimmune disorders in themselves. When people have an autoimmune disease, their immune system mistakenly attacks normal parts of the body, like hair follicles, joints and other cells. This is because the immune system mistakes these components as foreign, and releases antibodies in defense.
There is no cure for alopecia areata or other skin disorders, but a dermatologist in Palo Alto can administer skin treatment in Walnut Creek that may slow hair loss or help maximize the chances that hair will regrow. The good news is that most people living with alopecia areata and other autoimmune disorders are otherwise healthy, and these types of conditions are not an indication of cancer or another more serious underlying disease.
In addition, there are some simple strategies and tips that people living with alopecia areata can keep in mind to help themselves take back control of their condition and make things feel more manageable, and this article is meant to cover some simple self-care advice to help prevent flare-ups and make things easier.
Helpful Advice For People Living With Alopecia Areata
Talk to a dermatologist in San Francisco
When many people first discover signs of hair loss, they feel embarrassed about seeking out the advice of a professional skin doctor in Roseville. In fact, many even try to hide their hair loss from close friends and loved ones by wearing hats or caps to cover the baldness. Some even mistakenly believe they are suffering from a life-threatening disease like cancer.
In reality, the sooner that a person opens up about their hair loss, the better that they are likely to feel. Support of family members and friends can be very reassuring in times like these, and talking to an expert will allow for an accurate diagnosis that can put their minds at ease. The sooner the alopecia areata is detected, the more likely an available skin treatment in Walnut Creek is to be effective.
A professional dermatologist in Palo Alto will also be the best equipped to give specialized tips and advice that is specific to the individual and the type of condition that they are living with. Alopecia areata often come with the side effect of changes to the nails, which may become dry, brittle or yellow. Any noticeable changes in the nails should also be reported to a dermatologist in San Francisco so they can work to help minimize any pain or discomfort experienced as a result.
Human hair forms a natural form of insulation from colder temperatures, and therefore; those who are experiencing any kind of hair loss are much more likely to feel cold or chilled. As such, it is important to take extra precautions to protect the affected area from cold temperatures.
Feeling chilled can cause added stress, which may in turn trigger an immune response that can exacerbate the condition. It is likewise important to apply extra sunscreen to any areas of the scalp that might have experienced hair loss before heading outdoors. Use a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and seek out brands formulated for sensitive skin. These fragile areas of the body can be especially inclined to burn easily when exposed.
Take Extra Precautions for Facial Hair Loss in Sensitive Areas
Anybody who has experienced alopecia areata of the nose hairs may not be sad to see these hairs go, but they actually perform a vital duty in keeping the sinuses clear of dust, particles and other invaders. If this is the case, a skin doctor in Roseville will probably recommend an antibiotic to help fight against foreign invaders, so to speak.
Meanwhile, those who have lost hair from their eyelashes or eyebrows will need to take extra care to protect their eyes. Interestingly enough, false eyelashes can often be an effective solution, as can stick-on eyebrows or eyeglasses. A dermatologist in San Francisco will be able to make more specific recommendations.
Stress and anxiety will trigger an immune response that causes hair loss to occur, so it is important to take extra precautions to avoid stressful situations.
Self-care and relaxation techniques like bodily massage, yoga, meditation, warm baths, herbal teas or whatever else helps a person feel calm and relaxed can be some of the most effective means to combat the effects of day-to-day stressors and can help reduce the chances of experiencing more hair loss in the future.
For anybody dealing with issues of self-esteem as a result of alopecia areata, talking to a professional therapist or joining a support group can also help a person feel more confident in confronting the condition head-on.
Receiving a diagnosis of alopecia areata is never fun, but it need not have any significant effect on a patient’s overall self-esteem and quality of life. Keep in mind that anybody diagnosed with an autoimmune condition should be sure to follow up with regular physical examinations since they will be more at risk for developing certain other medical conditions as a result.
Working with a qualified skin doctor in Roseville is the best way to ensure that the condition is properly managed and treated, and anybody experiencing unexplained hair loss should always seek out professional advice as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: We are unable to guarantee any result, even though most of our patients do see success. The results of our services will vary greatly to each patient’s level of commitment and compliance with the program.