Alopecia areata – the disease that causes bald patches
The word alopecia is often misused as a collective term for multiple illnesses causing hair loss. In reality, alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. That means all humans have alopecia because we all lose hair to some extent; it’s a normal part of the hair’s life cycle. Alopecia areata, however, is an autoimmune disease where the patient’s hair follicles go into a dormant phase before releasing the hair. The patient then goes bald in that area. There are a number of different treatments you can try to reactivate hair growth: anti-inflammatory steroids, provoking a contact allergy, or PRP treatment.
Alopecia areata – spot baldness
Alopecia areata mono causes bald patches on the patient’s head, in the beard or on the body. The body’s immune system attacks its own hair follicles. This makes them leave the anagen growth phase and release the hair. It is not uncommon to have several spots on the head at the same time.
Researchers have not yet been able to determine what triggers alopecia areata, and there is currently no cure. However, it may be alleviated through PRP treatment. Most people carrying the disease has it embedded in their genetic code.
Alopecia totalis — hair loss on the entire head
Alopecia areata totalis is when the disease exhibits in the form of all or most of the hair on the head falling out. The disease may start with smaller spots on the head, or the patient only losing hair on half of the head, to then evolve to the patient losing all their hair. It may happen in stages, but it may also happen very quickly. Of those who experience spot baldness, 5% develop alopecia totalis.
Alopecia universalis – loss of all body hair
With alopecia areata universalis, the patient loses hair from all over the body. It often starts with a bald spot on the head that may appear to be an alopecia areata mono spot, only to suddenly change and the patient may rapidly lose all hair on the body. The patient loses hair from eyebrows, eyelashes, legs, chest, and arms. All the hair falls out. When the hair of the eyelashes and the eyebrows fall out, this causes a practical difficulty for the patient as there is nothing to stop dirt and sweat from entering the eyes.
The nails may also be affected
The nails may also be affected by the illness. The chemical and biological similarities between hair and nails are significant, as both are made of dead protein growing from a live root. For alopecia areata, changes may occur on the nails in the form of small pits or needle-fine stripes.
What is the solution for hair loss due to alopecia areata?
The disease causes great psychological stress for many patients and the stress in itself is bad for the illness once triggered. Unfortunately, alopecia areata is incurable, but there are several methods that may be used to alleviate hair loss. The positive thing about alopecia areata is that the hair follicles often remain under the skin and can then be treated using PRP.
We treat alopecia areata patients with dermaroller and PRP treatment. The combination of dermaroller and PRP cause a mild trauma in the skin. When the trauma has been created, the auto immune disease focuses on healing the injury and releases its attack on the hair follicles. That, together with the positive effect of the growth factors in PRP, give the hair the chance to start growing again.