What is Alopecia?
Alopecia areata is a condition where you lose hair in patches on the scalp or body. It’s different than balding, which is usually genetic in nature. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease where the body mistakenly attacks hair follicles, causing hair to fall out. It often occurs in phases, where the hair may begin to fall out in a spreading patch before regrowing. Anyone can be affected by alopecia and it can have various causes.
You may be more likely to develop alopecia if you have family members who also experience it. It can also be more likely in people who have other autoimmune diseases, allergies, or asthma. It’s important to determine whether you’re being affected by typical male- or female-pattern baldness or alopecia, since this can determine your treatment options. Your board-certified dermatologist can assess your symptoms during an appointment.
What Are the Symptoms of Alopecia?
Alopecia can come and go with cycles or hair loss and regrowth. This is different from baldness, which doesn’t typically grow back.
- Rapid hair loss
- Small bald patches that grow into one big one
- Brittle, pitted fingernails
What Are My Treatment Options?
Your treatment usually begins with taking a biopsy of your scalp, which your dermatologist can perform at our Mesa office.
- Diphencyprone (DPCP)
Alopecia can be long-term, or it may go away with medication. If your alopecia is long-term, your board-certified dermatologist can help you learn how to manage it with a life-long approach. You’ll learn more about your treatment options and what to expect during your appointment.
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How Do I Take Care of Myself with Alopecia?
If your alopecia is a life-long condition, it can feel overwhelming and defeating. However, your board-certified dermatologist is here to help. You’ll discuss ways to protect your hair and adapt to your hair loss, as well as using medications accordingly. It’s important to track changes in your hair and nails and report these to your dermatologist. Additionally, make sure to manage stress with the help of a mental health professional, since it can exacerbate hair loss. If you have bald patches on your scalp, make sure to always apply sunscreen when going outside and protect it with hats. Alopecia can also affect your face, including your eyebrows and eyelashes, which can impact your confidence. Consider using cosmetics like false eyelashes or stamp-on eyebrows if this is the case. Also consider finding support groups in your area to help you find ways to cope.
Schedule an Appointment
Alopecia can be extremely difficult to manage and live with, but your dermatologist can help you find relief. To get started, schedule an appointment at our Mesa office by calling or filling out our online form.
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