Alopecia areata is a disease that appears due to very different factors such as genetics, which is decisive in two out of ten cases, psychological alterations such as anxiety or stress, or as a consequence of other diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, dermatitis, thyroid alterations, vitiligo, juvenile diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus and some other.
According to different researches about alopecia areata, it is developed based on an autoimmune mechanism, producing an accumulation of lymphocytes next to the follicles that stop hair growth and end up causing hair loss.
Although it affects almost 2% of the world’s population, the truth is that the degree of affectation is very different, finding subjects with few and small plates of baldness and diagnosed with much larger plates that cover much of the surface of their scalp. Although there are few cases which affect the entire scalp producing a total alopecia areata. This in its most extreme cases ends with losing the hair of the entire body producing what is known as universal alopecia areata.
Unlike what happens in most people, those who are diagnosed with alopecia areata suffer a progressive decrease in the production of their hair follicles, which remain hibernating under the skin, until for unknown reasons, return to sprout on the surface. When this happens, it does not mean that this problem is over, but that one enters a phase of capillary production that, at any moment, can be stopped as a consequence of the disease.
How to treat alopecia areata
Although attempts have been made to establish patterns on the progress of alopecia areata, the truth is that, for now, it is impossible to offer anything beyond what is revealed by the statistics presented by these patients all over the planet:
-One of two people experienced spontaneous repopulation within the first year without any treatment. It usually happens to patients with few bald patches.
-Those diagnosed with severe alopecia areata are less than one of ten. These are the ones that present more resistance to the treatments.
As for the treatments, which are currently available, they usually work better or worse depending on the degree of fall, the age and the speed at which it is detected.
When the degree of hair loss is less than half of the scalp, topical corticoid treatments are usually performed or injected into the affected area and the intake of Antralines or Minoxidil is prescribed.
When the degree of hair loss is greater than half of the scalp, besides treating the patient with corticoids, other treatments are used such as those applied in allergic contact dermatitis with Difenciprona or PUVA (psoralens + UVA light).
Finally, we should mention that it is the doctor who, after examining each specific case, decides which is the best treatment to use.