alopecia areata

Alopecia Areata: What is it and How is it Treated?

Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune skin condition that results in hair falling out from patches of the scalp, eyebrows, or beard. The cause of alopecia areata is unknown, but it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder, meaning the body’s own immune system misidentifies its own cells for foreign invaders and attacks them.


The most common symptom of alopecia areata is one or more bald patches that develop on the scalp. Other symptoms may include:

  • Loss of eyelashes, eyebrows, or beard
  • Hair falling out in large chunks
  • Nail changes, such as pitting or discoloration
  • Full body hair loss (alopecia universalis)


The goal of treatment for alopecia areata is to promote hair regrowth. Treatment options may include:

  • Corticosteroid injections. These are injected directly into the affected scalp and work by suppressing the body’s immune system and reducing inflammation.
  • Topical treatments. These are creams or lotions applied to the scalp that contain medications such as minoxidil, which encourage hair regrowth.
  • Light therapy. This treatment uses a special device that emits ultraviolet light to the affected area in an attempt to improve hair growth.

Some people find that hair regrowth is possible without any treatment. However, for those whose hair does not regrow without treatment, these options may be beneficial.

Living with Alopecia Areata

Living with alopecia areata can be challenging and emotionally distressing. Support from friends, family, and professionals is important. Wearing wigs, hats, and scarves can help people feel more comfortable and confident in their appearance while they are experiencing hair loss.


Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune skin condition that causes hair to fall out in patches on the scalp, eyebrows, and beard. Treatment options may include corticosteroid injections, topical treatments, and light therapy. Having a support system, as well as wearing wigs and other accessories, can be beneficial. With the right treatment, it is possible for hair to regrow.


Alopecia areata, autoimmune, scalp, eyebrows, hair loss, treatment, corticosteroid injections, topical treatments, light therapy, wig, hat, support system

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