The hair falls out in patches, suddenly revealing the bare scalp... Does this mean something to you? In this case, you may be dealing with alopecia areata, a generally benign disease which nevertheless has the gift of ruining our lives. Madam President today takes stock of hair loss caused by alopecia areata, the causes of this problem and the solutions that exist.
What is alopecia areata?
Alopecia areata, which some define as “plaque alopecia”, is a benign dermatological pathology (meaning that it is not “serious”). It can affect the hair, but also the nails and body hair. Relatively common, this condition affects 1.7% of the population.
Alopecia areata manifests itself in the form of hair loss. The hair falls out in more or less extensive patches on the scalp, leaving it completely bare in places. These plates generally take oval or round shapes. This form is the most common, and we speak of “plaque alopecia areata”. However, it is not the only form of alopecia areata that exists.
Several forms and severity levels of alopecia areata
The frequency of episodes and the extent of its involvement make it possible to identify the level of severity of the alopecia areata.
- Localized alopecia areata, the most common, only affects the hair. In the majority of cases, it manifests as a single plaque with spontaneous healing. Localized alopecia areata can also manifest as multiple plaques (obviously…).
- Alopecia areata can sometimes start at the base of the skull and gradually spread to the sides, going up to above the ears. In this case, we speak of ophiatic alopecia areata.
- Massive alopecia areata occurs in just a few days and causes more than half of the hair to fall out.
- Even rarer: alopecia areata totalis, which affects the entire skull. It is also called “severe total alopecia areata”.
- If body hair is also affected, then alopecia areata is considered. This affects all body hair.
How alopecia areata works
You should know that alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease. Affected people experience a slight failure of the immune system. Some of its cells, the lymphocytes, no longer recognize the hair roots as elements specific to the body, but as enemies that must be eliminated as we usually do with viruses and bacteria. As a result, the lymphocytes attack the roots of the hair (or body hair, for that matter) and inhibit their function. The roots end up breaking and the hair falls out: we talk about hair with an exclamation point. In other words, it is the body that decides to eliminate hair, which it considers to be foreign elements. Not very smart!
Its causes remain unknown
At present, we still do not know why lymphocytes go wrong in their analysis and target hair. However, several avenues are being studied, such as stress, a viral infection or exposure to a chemical product, for example. In some cases, hereditary factors could come into play. In addition, the evolution of the pathology is unpredictable. Often, alopecia areata manifests itself in episodes. While some only experience one episode in their life, others experience more or less frequent recurrences. The duration of the episodes, the extent and the intensity of the alopecia areata remain variable. Unpredictable, variable… Alopecia areata is difficult to define.
The difference between alopecia areata, classic hair loss and alopecia
Classic hair loss is normal: we all lose around a hundred hairs every day. Alopecia refers to significant hair loss, causing sparse areas or even patches without hair. It is most often associated with hair loss, but it can also affect other hairy areas of the body. In addition, when hair loss is significant, and the hair stops growing back, we again speak of alopecia.
Alopecia areata is a form of alopecia: circumscribed alopecia. It is the rarest form of alopecia, since it is the only one to be linked to an autoimmune reaction. In the case of alopecia areata, these are episodes. Most often, alopecia areata heal spontaneously: the hair grows back on its own. This is also the case for alopecia areata universalis or alopecia areata, even if the regrowth is less obvious. For even more details, this article is great!
Alopecia areata and hair loss: essential medical follow-up
Any health problem deserves appropriate medical monitoring. If you are experiencing abnormal hair loss, it is important to consult a dermatologist to identify the problem and determine its possible causes. Indeed, the diagnosis of alopecia areata is based exclusively on a clinical examination of the symptoms. Sometimes, a blood test may be taken to ensure that there is no other associated autoimmune disease. You should know that alopecia areata can predispose to certain autoimmune pathologies. Affected people are also more vulnerable to allergies, for example.
A dermatological pathology to treat
Faced with alopecia areata, treatment could also be prescribed by your healthcare professional and it is important to respect it. Your dermatologist is likely to give you valuable advice for maintaining your hair and combating hair loss in the event of alopecia areata or any other problem. Specific treatment can also be considered depending on the level of severity of the alopecia areata.
Most treatments proposed to date rely on the suppression of lymphocytes that attack hair follicles. Unfortunately, although often effective, these treatments do not prevent recurrences. But we keep our spirits up and we believe in it!
Alopecia areata and hair loss: what evolution to expect?
When it comes to alopecia areata, each case is unique. Dermatologists do not have the means to predict the development of alopecia areata in a person. The shapes, intensity, frequency, evolution… All these elements are specific to each person. The best way to fight recurrence is to follow the advice of the dermatologist, follow the prescribed treatments carefully and take care of your hair every day. Alopecia areata is in no way a contraindication to hair care. On the contrary ! If alopecia areata affects you, you can continue your usual care and continue to go to the hairdresser without this having any impact on the pathology and its progression.
Continuing to take care of yourself is important, especially for morale. Indeed, although benign, alopecia areata is a dermatological disease that can affect us psychologically. Solutions exist: you should not hesitate to seek support if necessary. In addition, for people who wish, the use of hair prosthesis is possible. Far from the horrible New Year's Eve wigs, there are very beautiful wigs that will give you back a smile and the pleasure of doing your hair every day, that's for sure!
Madam President supports you in the face of alopecia areata
Although our products do not replace the dermatological treatments that may be offered to you by a healthcare professional, they complement them very well. Our products are developed with the idea of stopping hair loss and stimulating regrowth. The objective is on the one hand to prevent recurrences of alopecia areata and to try to reduce their severity when they occur. Our products also aim to keep your hair healthy and strong all year round. An essential helping hand to minimize the inconvenience of alopecia areata, whatever its form!
Stop hair loss and stimulate hair regrowth
Our range of natural anti-hair loss treatments is enriched with Capillum Fortis , our exclusive anti-hair loss complex, and is intended to best prevent hair loss. Resolution N°3 , our anti-hair loss serum, helps to anchor the hair bulb in the scalp in order to prevent hair loss and promote regrowth. This treatment brings together natural active ingredients from plants: cinnamon, kigelia, ginkgo biloba... It thus increases hair density and volume, slows down hair loss... In short, a perfect ally against recurrences of alopecia areata!
Resolution N°4 , our active regrowth roll-on, is intended to promote the regrowth of hair and “ baby hair ”. Also enriched with Capillum Fortis , activates blood microcirculation in the scalp and slows hair loss. Like our anti-hair loss serum, it increases the anchoring of the hair bulb in the scalp.
Finally, it is entirely possible to combine these products with Resolution N°2 detox tea, which helps fight hair loss, purifies the scalp and cleanses the hair. Hair Boost gummies are also a solution to promote hair growth and strengthen the hair fiber. For men with alopecia areata, Monsieur gummies will help fight against hair loss (and beard hair) and will stimulate their regrowth.
In short, although no hair product can replace a suitable dermatological treatment prescribed by your doctor, they can certainly reinforce the effects of the latter. But that's not all ! Don't skimp on a quality hair routine (involving regular scalp care and massages), a good diet, a healthy environment... In short, pull out all the stops to put the odds on your side. And above all, don't forget: you are beautiful (and handsome).