Alopecia Areata Frequently Asked Questions

What is Alopecia?


Alopecia is sudden Hair loss that starts with one or more circular bald patches that may begin to overlap. Also called Hair Loss. Hair Loss from the scalp or elsewhere on the body.




Can you die from Alopecia?


Alopecia is an autoimmune disorder, where the immune system is attacking your hair follicles, usually is not dangerous. It will cause you hair loss but not death.




What are the 3 types of Alopecia?


The most common are Male or Femal Pattern: Permanent Hair loss from the scalp causing baldness. Alopecia Areata: Sudden hair loss that starts with one or more circular bald patches that may overlap. Telogen Effluvium: A reversible condition in which hair falls out after a stressful experience. Anagen Effluvium: An abnormal loss of hair during the furst phase (anagen) of the hair's growth cycle.




What are the most common types of Alopecia?


Androgenic Alopecia...genetic hair loss condition (male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss) is the most common and affects many at some stage in their lives. Early as the late teens and so on. Alopecia Areata...is an autoimmune disorder and the most commonly diagnosed type of Alopecia. Appears as Spotty or patchy hair loss on the scalp. Yet, can also cause the body to attack it's own healthy hair follicles. Is triggered by stress or trauma in most cases. No other exact reason is known to date. Alopecia Totalis...Areata that has progressed to the entire scalp. Alopecia Universalis...Areata that has progressed to the facial hair and the entire body. Cicatrical Alopecia...Known as Scarring Alopecia due to scar tissue takes redience where hair follicles were destroyed. The destruction caused by inflammation of the hair follicles. This can occur from burns(hot combing, for example) or infections. Traction Alopecia...very common today by individuals who apply excessive tension on the hair and scalp with hair styles causing breakage. Styles such as Braids, extensions, tight ponytails to name a few. It is also caused by excessive chemical use such as hair colouring and chemical relaxing.




What treatments are avaialble for Alopecia and hair loss conditions?


Temporary treatments such as Rogaine only stimulate growth externally but are not a cure as they do not treat the underlying cause. Finasteride a treatment given only to men may not also cure hair loss as is is a prescription that can not cure the underlying cause but stimulate for the duration of use. May also cause infertility in women from contact of the men.




Can you recover from Alopecia?


Most who recover from Alopecia do so within a year. Alopecia may return and typically those who do experience a more advance case of Alopecia such as Totalis or Universalis.




Can Alopecia be caused by Nutritional deficiency?


Why Yes! Nutritional deficiency may impact the hair structure and hair growth. Such as Telogen Effluvium, well known due to sudden weight loss or decreased protein intake, diffuse alopecia due to niacin deficiency. Studies show a potential link between nutritional deficiency and Telogen Effluvium and Androgenic Alopecia. Note that excessive intake of Vitamin A, Vitamin E and Selenium have been linked to hair loss. (We suggest you seek your physicians advise if known conditions exist). Iron deficiency is one of the world's most common nutritional deficienies and is a well known cause for hair loss. The use of iron blockers can be a factor. Premenopausal women may be at risk due to menstrual blood loss while postmenopausal women may be at risk due to gastrointestinal blood loss. Vegans as well as vegetarians are also at risk. Iron found in plants is less effective than that which is in meat and fish. So yes Zinc, Niacin, Selenium, VItamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Biotin(Vitamin H), Amino Acids and Proteins, Antioxidants are all key factors in sustaining a healthy hair structure, Hair screening for such deficiencies must be guided by history and a possible physical exam. Nutrient deficiencies may occur due to genetic disorders, medical conditions and ones daily dietary practices. So yoyo diets can be a cause. While, lack of good wholesome foods may be the way to go along with the best choice supplementation that fits you.