The term alopecia is a general one and simply means hair loss. It is a common condition and the chances are that you know someone who has alopecia now or has had alopecia because it can affect anyone, at any age and it is impossible to predict the amount of hair loss. Typically, small circular patches of baldness are experienced on the scalp but it can also affect other body hair too. There are many thought processes as to why this occurs but it appears that hair is lost because the follicles of the hair are rejected by the immune system. The hair usually grows back, but it sometimes grows back white.
If you have alopecia, there is a greater possibility to develop other autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, vitiligo and thyroid disease and there are blood tests that will search for antibodies which may indicate potential future thyroid problems. It is not contagious and it is not related to any dietary requirements or vitamin deficiencies. Stress however, can be a very convincing trigger and sometimes, alopecia can become evident following bereavement or ill-health and increased anxieties. Alopecia is genetic and if there is someone in the family who has the condition, it can elevate the risk for others but is not always the case.
Sufferers often tell of a tingling sensation in the scalp region but more often than not, the worst of it is that the sufferer feels upset at the loss of hair. There can be one or many small bald patches and it can become impossible to disguise the patches. Unfortunately, there is no cure at this time for alopecia but with patchy hair loss, there is up to 80% chance of a complete re-growth within 12 months. For severe patches of alopecia, re-growth can be less convincing and much slower.
Stress of course can play a big factor in creating or healing, so gentle relaxation techniques and meditation can help to combat anxieties and to help let go of built-up tensions.