Alopecia is a specific type of hair loss that generally occurs in younger patients and happens once a person’s immune system attacks the hair follicles, preventing future hair growth. Thankfully this follicle damage is not usually permanent, and with expert treatment of alopecia, the affected areas are usually able to regrow the hair normally. Both men and women suffer from alopecia equally though doctors are uncertain what prompts the immune system to attack hair follicles in alopecia patients to begin with.
Those who suffer from alopecia may first notice when they begin to see their hair falling out in clumps, resulting in hairless, bald patches on the scalp, similar to male pattern baldness. Sometimes the balding area isn’t left completely bare but the hair becomes much thinner in certain areas or breaks off leaving stubble-like patches instead. Other alopecia symptoms include hair growing back in the same area only to fall out once again or the arrival of new hair loss patches where the hair is falling out or thinning. Ten percent of alopecia patients may never grow hair back in the areas where hair has been lost if they started to experience the condition before puberty, have a family history of the condition, have experienced extensive balding or are struggling with another autoimmune disease.
Though alopecia cannot officially be cured, it can be successfully treated. Alopecia treatment usually begins with a hair analysis performed by a doctor who will examine a sample of the hair or scalp and conduct blood tests to look for thyroid issues or other specific conditions. The alopecia treatment may include injections of corticosteroids into the scalp or application of topical corticosteroids applied to affected areas of the skin where hair has been lost. These corticosteroids actually irritate the skin causing a type of allergic reaction that agitates the skin and in the process prompts new hair growth.
Other alopecia treatment options include ultraviolet light therapy for those who have especially large areas of balding and have not seen success from other treatments.
Those who are wondering if they are suffering from alopecia in Michigan and how to treat it can start by visiting the Skin & Vein Center for a full consultation and to have their skin and hair examined for possible treatment. The Skin & Vein Center treats a myriad of skin conditions and offers relief and treatment to patients who are feeling self-conscious about their conditions.