Patchy hair loss (alopecia areata)

Patchy hair loss (alopecia areata)

Patchy hair loss (alopecia areata) : by Anne Harila.
Illustration and Copyright: Anne Berit Urdahl

In the beginning a patient notices a bald patch on the head, beard or elsewhere on the body.

The skin of these patches is not in any way changed, it's just no hair there. On the periphery of the patches, near the rims, a few short hairs may be seen. These are called "exclamation mark" hair, with a small mark at the base.

The marks / patches are mostly round or oval. Sometimes it's just a mark, sometimes more. The patches can become larger and intersect, sometimes a patient after a while can get a completely hairless head (alopecia totalis) or the entire body (alopecia universalis') and without eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair.

Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease. Laser treatment can be used for the disease.

Disappearance of the hair in the nose will cause problems with sense of smell, a person will become susceptible to allergy attacks, sinusitis and respiratory infections.

Eyelashes missing: Often includes watery eyes.
Skin: Often dry and outbreaks of eczema.

This disorder can affect all age groups, where it progresses slowly from patch to patch. Sometimes all of the hair can disappear overnight. No one knows what causes it.

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