Alopecia Areata: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Alopecia areata belongs to recurrent non-scarring forms of alopecia, and any area of the scalp can be involved in the pathological process. Hair loss lesions that form within the framework of the disease can take any shape: round, oval, or point. The balding process is benign, which does not exclude the appearance of psych-emotional trauma in patients. The actual causes of the development of alopecia areata remain unclear today. The risk factors for the development of this disease are also not fully determined. It can confidently be stated, however, only that an essential role in the development of the pathological process is played by unfavorable heredity and stress. At the same time, experts attribute stress only to indirect risk factors that can cause the disease in the presence of a genetic predisposition and cannot be the root cause of the disease (National Institute of Health, 2021). According to the viral theory, alopecia areata can begin after a viral infection, but sufficient evidence has not been collected to support this assumption.
Alopecia areata is characterized by a smooth, even surface of the skin in the alopecia areata. The skin in the areas of baldness turns slightly red or does not change color. The tops of the hair take on the shape of a question mark, and the hair shaft itself does not pass the strength test. Hair that is easily pulled out outspeaks in favor of the active stage of the disease, which will be accompanied by further hair loss (National Institute of Health, 2021). Alopecia areata often occurs with hair loss, not only in the lesion. In most cases, baldness occurs in several areas at once, forming round or oval pathological foci.
There is no cure description for this disease, but treatment can be used to address the symptoms of alopecia. Most of the therapeutic procedures are aimed at stimulating hair growth. An individually selected course of treatment usually depends on the period of alopecia areata, the patient’s age, the area of the pathological foci, and the patient’s state of health (National Institute of Health, 2021). In general, the physiological manifestation of the disease and the effectiveness of treatments are strongly influenced by individual predisposition and tolerance.
National Institute of Health. (2021). Alopecia areata. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). Web.