Alopecia Areata - Symptom, Causes & Treatment
Alopecia means hair loss. It is defined as a autoimmune disorders or condition in which round patches of hair loss appear suddenly and can affect any hair-bearing area. The reason alopecia areata occurs is not completely known. Alopecia areata can occur at any age. Alopecia areata is not contagious and is not caused by any food. Like many other health problems, it sometimes starts after a stressful event, but this is not usually the case.
In children, alopecia areata may occur more often, or more severely if the child has eczema. In adults it is known that the patient or the relatives are slightly more likely to show other auto-immune conditions than is the general population. These include colour loss (vitiligo) and thyroid disorders.
Causes and Symptoms of Alopecia Areata
There are several different hypotheses as to what causes alopecia areata. Alopecia areata sometimes runs in families.
The characteristic patch of alopecia areata is usually round or oval, and is completely bald and smooth. The patches are smooth, with few remaining hairs in the centre. Round the edge of the patch stub-like hairs can usually be seen (often called "exclamation mark" hairs as they are they are thicker at the tip than at scalp level).