Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition where the body’s own immune system targets and shuts off hair production in the hair follicles, leading to characteristic circular, coin shaped patches of hair loss. The hair loss can affect any hair bearing areas of the body including the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, and beard region. The degree and severity of the condition can vary greatly. In some, it is localized with few patches of round, circular, coin shaped areas of hair loss. In more significant cases, a person can lose all the hair on their scalp (alopecia totalis), and rarely, even the hair on their entire body (alopecia universalis). Alopecia areata can be associated with nail changes including pitting and ridges. The course of the disease can be unpredictable - hair can regrow spontaneously without treatment, and new areas of hair loss can appear out of the blue. Various therapies are available ranging from topical medications to intralesional steroid injections to systemic medications.

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