Alopecia Areata

Results of eyebrow alopecia treatment, from bald patch to new hair

Results of topical treatment and injections for eyebrow alopecia over the course of nine months

Alopecia means hair loss. There are different types of hair loss, each with a different name:

  • Alopecia areata (lose hair in patches);
  • Alopecia totalis (lose all hair on the scalp); and
  • Alopecia universalis (lose all hair on the body).

Losing all hair on the scalp or body only happens to about five percent of people.

Hair often grows back but may fall out again. Sometimes the hair loss lasts for many years.

Alopecia is not contagious. It is not due to nerves. What happens is that the immune system attacks the hair follicles (structures that contain the roots of the hair), causing hair loss. This disease most often occurs in otherwise healthy people.

There are several treatment options for alopecia:

  • Topical prescriptions are applied to the areas of hair loss to stimulate new hair growth.
  • Medications such as corticosteroids or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can be injected into the affected areas. This reduces the inflammation and scarring caused by the immune response, allowing new hair to grow.
  • In advanced cases of alopecia, oral medications that suppress the immune attack on the hair follicles are used.

Alopecia treatment can last for 2-6 months before there are visible results, depending on how much scarring occurred before starting treatment and how quickly new hair grows. Many patients try a combination of therapies, such as topical medications and injections.

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