Alopecia areata is a form of non-scarring hair loss. In this condition, the hair follicles are present and visible, but they are empty as the hair is lost.
Alopecia areata is thought to be an autoimmune condition, in which the body attacks healthy body tissue (in this case a protein in the hair follicles), disrupting the hair’s natural life cycle. (90 to 95% of hair on the scalp is growing, or in the anagen phase, while the rest of the hair is preparing to shed, called the catagen phase and eventually falls out in the telogen phase). Initial hair loss typically appears as coin-sized, round, well-defined patches on the scalp or face in men.If the condition worsens, it can affect other parts of the body and result in universal hair loss.
Alopecia areata is a relatively common condition in North America, affecting approximately 1 or 2 persons in 1000.In general, hair loss should not be treated as a purely medical problem. It can negatively affect a person’s self-esteem, and be a cause of social anxiety. Fortunately, advancements in topical and oral medications have helped individuals reduce hair loss, and in some cases, have helped regrow hair.