Women battling with alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that leads to hair loss, often feel a range of emotional impact from the condition. Alopecia can have a profound effect on a woman’s self-esteem and identity, common to be a major source of stress, even leading to depression.
The American Hair Loss Association estimates that over 30 million women in the U.S. have female pattern hair loss. However, the journey for women suffering from the condition extends further than the physical symptoms and often involves the psychological impacts associated with alopecia, including loneliness, social isolation and discrimination. Yet, there is help available for individuals who are struggling both with the physical and emotional impacts of alopecia and other forms of hair loss.
The exact cause of alopecia remains unknown, although genetics and the accumulation of certain triggers over time, such as stress and nutrition, all appear to play a role, as well as some underlying medical conditions. Certain prescription medications and even physical changes such as pregnancy can also contribute to hair loss and alopecia.
Solutions for Alopecia
When it comes to addressing the effects of alopecia, there are many potential solutions. Hair transplant surgery is often a popular choice for those who have noticeable hair loss and can afford it, but other solutions exist, such as minoxidil and finasteride, topical solutions and other pharmaceuticals.
In some cases, treatment of the underlying cause of the alopecia can help regrow the hair with minimal side effects and long-term results. However, in other cases, treatments may only help maintain hair growth and hair strength and may not be able to reverse the condition.
Types of Alopecia
Another important factor to consider when learning about alopecia and navigating the emotional and physical effects is the type of alopecia. The most commonly known form of alopecia is alopecia areata, which results in patchy bald spots, typically on the scalp.
Alopecia universalis is another form of the disorder, which leads to the loss of all body hair, including hair on the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes. Androgenetic alopecia is a genetic condition that results in permanent hair loss, primarily on the top and sides of the head. This form of alopecia is also known as female pattern baldness.
How to Cope with Alopecia During the Treatment Process
Seeking professional counseling to help cope with the emotional impact of alopecia is an important step in the treatment process. A mental health professional can provide counseling and advice on how to manage the feelings of anxiety, depression, and isolation caused by hair loss. Joining a support group for others who have alopecia can also be a helpful resource during this time.
Finding ways to cope with hair loss is essential for a woman’s long-term wellbeing. Taking time to practice self-care, such as taking walks or reading a book, can provide much-needed respite from the emotional strain of alopecia.
When it comes to alopecia, it is important to recognize that the condition can have emotional and physical effects on a woman’s life. There is help available, and understanding the causes and solutions for alopecia can help in navigating the emotional impact of this condition.