It means loss of hair in areas where ordinarily hair would be found.
Generally this means loss of terminal hair on the scalp.
It is a common idiopathic disorder in which there is a patchy loss of hair.
If all the hair on the scalp is lost the condition known as Alopecia Totalis.If there is complete loss of body hair the condition is called Alopecia Universalis.
It is rare before the age of 3.
Alopecia Areata is considered to be an autoimmune condition in which the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks the hair follicles and destroys them.
It also runs into families.
Triggering factors are-
1.Alopecia Areata monolocularis-In this a single bald spot on the scalp is seen.It may progress to form multiple spots.
2.Alopecia Areata multilocularis-Presents with multiple bald spots on scalp.
3.Alopecia Totalis-All the hair on the scalp is lost.
4.Alopecia universalis-When all the hair from all over the body is lost.
5.Alopecia barbae-The bald spots are limited only to the beard region.
6.Traction Alopecia-Due to constant tension on the hair from being tied very tightly,alopecia develops along the frontal and temporal margins of the scalp.
1.Non scarred Alopecia Areata-There is no superadded infection of the scalp and chances of recovery are better.
2.Scarred Alopecia Areata-A lichen infection of the scalp can lead to irreversible damage to the follicles and the skin of the scalp.
-Circular or patchy bald spot-Some people experience smooth bald spots,often about an inch across.It may also occur in beard and eyebrows..skin may become itchy or painful.
-Sudden loosening of hair-A physical or emotional shock can cause hair loss.Handfuls of hair come out during combing or washing.
-Full body hair loss-Some medical treatments such as chemotherapy for cancer can result in loss of hair all over body.
The characterstic findings is a well circumscribed area of normal hairless skin in an area of normal hair gowth.
Biopsy of scalp
History and clinical evaluation
Other findings are the appearance of short hairs ,yellow areas of skin deposition at the follicular orifice,short thin hairs and grey hairs all present in a bald area.
Injection of corticosteroids
Psoralen with ultraviolet A (PUVA)therapy
Hair pull test-It can also be conducted at the margins of lesions.
Homeopathic medicines target the altered immunity of patient and bring it back to normal.Results are longlasting and deep in nature.It also helps to prevent relapses of the condition.