Hair Loss (Alopecia Areata)
What is hair loss (alopecia areata)?
The hair loss caused by alopecia areata (a chronic, inflammatory condition which affects the head’s hair follicles) is not necessarily permanent. Also, the condition is not in any other way harmful to your overall health.
Note: Some men with alopecia areata also develop patches of baldness in the beard area or even on the eyebrows. However, this is not a common symptom.
Symptoms of alopecia areata include:
Patchy hair loss (on the head). The patches are usually about the size of a 10p piece.
Red, scaly skin in the affected area (in rare cases)
Brittle and/or split nails
Patches of whiteness to the skin beneath the nails
These symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending upon the individual.
Despite worldwide medical research, as yet the exact cause of alopecia areata is unknown. However, analysis of patients has brought to light that the vast majority of sufferers who develop the condition do so due to an imbalance to the immune system. An autoimmune condition develops where the body ‘attacks itself’.
Other possible causes include:
An allergic reaction to a certain trigger which causes alopecia areata to develop
Mood disorders, such as anxiety or stress
Trauma (having been directly involved in an accident of some sort which has led to both physical and emotional trauma)
With general baldness in men, this is usually a hereditary condition (i.e. it runs in the family).
If you are suffering from the aforementioned symptoms, make an appointment to see your GP. After taking your medical history and asking you some questions about your symptoms, your GP will then examine the affected area before recommending an appropriate course of treatment.
You may be referred to a dermatologist (a skin specialist) at your local hospital.
Effect on your life
Many people with alopecia areata feel self-conscious and embarrassed about their condition, and seek to cover their head through wearing a hat, cap or headscarf. However, the patchy hair loss is not always permanent.
Although there is not a complete cure as such for alopecia areata, there are treatments available which are intended to help hair grow back in the affected area. These are generally steroid creams and lotions. Where the condition is particularly severe, ultraviolet light treatment (at your local hospital) may be tried.
How Chemist Online can help
Through this website we have a range of hair loss remedies available to buy.
Advice & Support
Tel: 020 8333 1661
British Association of Dermatologists
Tel: 020 7383 0266
This information and advice is not intended to replace the advice of your GP or chemist. Chemist Online is also not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based upon the content of the Chemist Online website. Chemist Online is also not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites.
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