What is alopecia areata?

Alopecia Areata, which can also known as spot baldness is a condition which causes patchy bald spots. It’s a peculiar form of hair loss that usually affects areas of the scalp. It’s an autoimmune disorder, which damages the hair follicles. Alopecia Areata affects men and women of all ages including young children.

pelade alopecie en aire

What causes these patchy bald spots?

The exact cause is currently unknown. Nevertheless, evidence suggests that there are two reasons. There are two factors which have been linked to causing these patchy bald spots:

1. Immune system abnormalities
The body’s immune system and it attacks the hair follicles and disturbs the normal hair matrix.  The immune system targets the hair tissues, and after a few months, it causes patchy bald spots and even hair loss.

2. Psychological factor:
Some people tend to link it to stress or emotional shock, as a trigger that eventually leads to circular or patchy bald spots.

Signs and symptoms of alopecia areata

Circular patches of hair loss can occur both in one spot or in several places. These appear in a round or oval shape on the scalp or the body (eyebrows, beard, arms, legs). However, the prominent symptom of alopecia is hair loss. Patches of bald spots appear over time, and some even lose all the hair on their body. For some people hair start to grow back after about 6 to 12 months.

Alopecia areata treatment

There is no one-fits-all cure. A specialist can recommend an alopecia areata treatment which is safe and effective as it really depends on the extent of the hair loss. The treatment must, therefore, be adapted to each case of alopecia areata. Among these treatments, some have found the effectiveness of aromatherapy to deliver good results as an alternative natural treatment.

The importance of psychological help

Many people who suffer from this condition have been known to seek psychological help due to the emotional stress and pain it causes. This type of pain can lead to depression and isolation for some individuals. There are support groups that help people cope with negative feelings relating to alopecia areata. Group or individual support can make suffering more bearable and even contribute to treating this condition.