Alopecia is an autoimmune disorder that results in hair loss. It happens when someone’s hair follicles are attacked by that person’s own immune system. There are few different types of alopecia and about 2% of population is effected by it. It strikes at any age (even small children), any ethnicity and gender.
Is alopecia contagious?
Alopecia is not contagious. There is no cure and many patients just progress to permanent loss hair either in patches or even a full head of hair loss. Some alopecia treatments include corticosteroids (injections and topical creams) and powerful anti-inflammatory medications prescribed by doctors. Alopecia is divided into few groups depending on the hair loss diagnosis and pattern.
Androgenetic alopecia is the regular male and female pattern baldness. It usually starts with a receding hairline or thinning. Sometimes it is hereditary but not always. It effects most as they age, but sometimes it starts early in young men and women.
In majority cases with AA (Alopecia Areata) hair is lost in small patches and sometimes it grows back, but sometimes it does not. In more extreme cases the patches become bigger all around the head. Sometimes over time some areas fill in, but other new areas form. It can also lead to a complete loss of hair on the scalp (Alopecia Totalis) or in very extreme situations all hair is lost on the scalp, face and entire body.
Many get glares or stares from other people or even comments and questions. Other people don’t realize that the individual is perfectly healthy besides having this condition and some assume the individual has cancer and is undergoing a chemo therapy. Additionally, many children and adults become very stressed and depressed during the outbreaks. It is very important that they have continuous support of their family and friends.
Alopecia as a response to stress
Many believe that alopecia is also a response to stress and doctors recommend to reduce stress during the outbreaks ( which is hard to do because the whole situation is very stressful). Clients are encouraged to eat a proper balanced diet with supplements of vitamins and minerals. Also to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night and to exercise daily for better blood circulation, oxygen intake and to reduce stress which all together are crucial for a proper, healthy hair growth.
American Academy of Dermatology Association ( www.aad.org ) states that : “ If a parent or a close blood relative has (or had) AA, a child has a greater risk of developing this disease. While the risk is greater, not every child with this increased risk will get AA.”
“Many people who develop AA are otherwise healthy. They have hairloss and sometimes nail changes, but they remain in good health.”www.aad.org
There are also other forms of alopecia.
is resulting from damage to hair follicle from continuous tension or pulling and hair breakage. Usually seen in people with dreadlocks, braids (cornrows), or tight ponytails.
When hair follicles are pushed prematurely into the “resting stage” by illness or stress.
There is no cure for any form of alopecia, but SMP (scalp micropigmentation) is a great solution for many suffering from alopecia. Bald patches can be pigmented so they would blend in with the growing follicles, with Alopecia Totalis or Universalis SMP can create an illusion of hair follicles that cover a full head for that buzzed look.
In addition some clients might also use wigs from time to time to change their look (usually women) but they feel so much more comfortable removing it after the SMP treatment.
Alopecia Support Groups
National Alopecia Areata Foundation
Canadian Alopecia Areata Foundation
Children Alopecia Foundation
Please check in your area for the support groups or ask your dermatologist or family physician for more information