Alopecia areata is a unique type of hair loss that is very commonly seen and treated by your Houston hair experts at Village Dermatology. Always trust your hair and skin to a board-certified dermatologist.
Alopecia areata is characterized by a very distinct type of hair loss. Discrete, often circular, smooth patches of hair loss that develop quickly over a period of weeks. In rare cases, diffuse thinning of the entire scalp and other body areas can be seen.
Alopecia areata most commonly affects the scalp, but any hair-bearing area can be affected. In men, it is sometimes noted in the beard area. In other patients, eyebrows, eyelashes, and forearms may be affected.
There are rare variants known as alopecia totalis where the entire scalp is progressively affected, and an even rarer variant known as alopecia universalis where there is generalized loss of body hair. Fortunately, these two scenarios are relatively uncommon.
Alopecia areata is thought to be an autoimmune condition. This means the immune system is attacking the bulb of the hair follicle. There can often be a genetic predisposition, and it can sometimes be associated with other conditions such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis or other thyroid disorders, pernicious anemia, or vitiligo.
Learn more about hair loss treatments: