Alopecia Areata: Diagnosis and Management

Medically Reviewed by Dr Sravya, MBBS, MS 

What exactly is alopecia areata?

Alopecia Areata is a type of hair loss disorder. The disease affects both men and women of  alll ages, including children. An autoimmune condition called alopecia areata makes your hair fall out frequently, hair loss in patches.

Alopecia areata

When the body’s immune system destroys hair follicles, it results in alopecia areata or baldness. Alopecia areata can affect any part of the
body where hair develops, like the scalp, brows, and eyelashes. To a varying extent, hair loss affects every individual. While some people just lose it in a few places, others lose it significantly. While some people have permanent hair growth, others can experience occasional hair fall and then regrowth.

This disorder comes in several forms. Although the primary form of alopecia areata is the most prevalent, there are other, more uncommon types of baldness:

How does Alopecia Areata appear?

Hair loss is the most common and frequently the only sign of alopecia areata. If you have experienced this disorder, you may have noticed:

There is no irritation or redness in the hairless regions of the skin. But you may experience tingling, itching, or burning sensations on your skin just before your hair falls out.

What is the Alopecia Areata diagnosis?

A dermatologist is a skin expert you should consult if you suspect alopecia areata. For the diagnosis of alopecia areata, the dermatologist will:

Occasionally, you could have a biopsy, in which case a little piece of skin from your scalp is taken and examined under a microscope. The causes of hair loss are numerous. Your doctor may conduct blood tests or skin testing for fungal infections in order to check for thyroid, hormone, or immune system problems.

Why does Alopecia Areata occur?

Your immune system attacks your body when you have an autoimmune illness. The hair follicles are the target of alopecia areata.

Doctors are baffled as to why this occurs. Yet they believe that people who develop it have a genetic predisposition to it. Then something happens that causes hair loss. Discover more about the causes of alopecia.

If you have any of the following conditions, you are more likely to develop alopecia areata:

What is the Alopecia Areata management?

Curing alopecia areata is impossible. But it is treatable, and hair can regrow. There are various things you may try if you have it:


These anti-inflammatory medications are recommended for patients with autoimmune illnesses. They may be injected into the scalp or other locations. Moreover, they can be taken as pills or used topically as an ointment, cream, or foam. The drawback is that it could take a while to start working.

Topical immunotherapy

This is useful when there is a lot of hair loss or if it occurs more than once. Chemicals are administered to the scalp to cause an allergic response. If it works, this response is what causes the hair to grow back. It also creates an itching rash and must typically be repeated numerous times to maintain the new hair growth.

Minoxidil (Rogaine)

This scalp therapy is already being used to treat pattern baldness. Hair growth usually takes around 12 weeks, and some users are unhappy with the results. Learn more about which forms of alopecia react best to minoxidil.

Other treatments

Medications used to treat other autoimmune conditions and topical sensitizers (drugs that are Applied to the skin and cause an allergic reaction that can cause hair growth) can also be used To treat alopecia areata. These medications have varying degrees of efficacy in regrowing

How can you manage Alopecia Areata with home care?

Besides pharmacological treatments, patients with alopecia might attempt a variety of Aesthetic and defensive approaches.

What is the outlook for Alopecia Areata?

Alopecia areata is not a life-threatening medical illness, but it can cause a great deal of anxiety and grief. There are support groups available to assist you in dealing with the psychological repercussions of the disease. 

If you lose all of your hair, it may regrow. If it doesn’t, several options exist for concealing your hair loss and protecting your scalp.

Always consult a doctor if you detect sudden hair loss. Apart from alopecia areata, there
might be other causes.

Frequently Asked Questions about Alopecia Areata

No, alopecia areata is never contagious.

No, fungal infections are not classified as sexually transmitted infections. However, sexual activity can sometimes upset the natural balance, increasing the risk of infection.

There is some evidence that alopecia areata may be inherited. At least one additional member
of the family is afflicted in 20% of alopecia areata sufferers. It has also been shown that
members of the same family have a greater incidence of immune system problems.

No. It is difficult to anticipate when and if someone may be impacted by Alopecia Areata. As
a result, no protection is possible.

Alopecia areata sufferers are frequently in good physical health. Hair loss, on the other hand,
is always an emotional burden. Psychological troubles are usually associated with hair loss,
and they might increase as the hair loss develops. It is important to seek the advice of a
professional to deal with the emotional distress caused by baldness. Many people are

confident and content with their illnesses. In certain circumstances, however, psychological
assistance is essential to acquiring the requisite degree of self-esteem.

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