What Is Alopecia Areata (AA)?
Alopecia Areata is considered an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system, which is designed to protect the body from foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria, mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, the structures from which hairs grow. This can lead to hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere.
In most cases, hair falls out in small, round patches about the size of a quarter. We find in many cases, the disease does not extend beyond a few bare patches. Some people, hair loss is more extensive.
Although uncommon, the disease can progress to cause total loss of hair on the scalp (referred to as alopecia areata totalis). In the same line is possible complete loss of hair on the scalp, face, and body (alopecia areata universalis).
What Causes It?
AA is not like some genetic diseases in which a child has a 50–50 chance of developing the disease if one parent has it. Scientists believe that there may be a number of genes that predispose certain people to the disease.
It is highly unlikely that a child would inherit all of the genes needed to predispose him or her to the disease.
Even with the right (or wrong) combination of genes, AA is not a certainty. Studies suggest that in identical twins, who share all of the same genes, the concordance rate is only 55 percent.
In other words, if one twin has the disease, there is only a 55-percent chance that the other twin will have it as well.
How we can Treat?
Although there is neither a cure for alopecia areata nor drugs approved for its treatment. Some people find that medications approved for other purposes can help hair grow back, at least temporarily.
Keep in mind that although these treatments may promote hair growth. None of them prevent new patches or actually cure the underlying condition.
Consult your health care professional about the best option for you. A combination of treatments may work best. Ask how long the treatment may last, how long it will take before you see results, and about the possible side effects.