Alopecia areata for short, is a condition of hair loss that takes place in women, men, and even children. Find out here about what causes this, what other kinds of hair loss problems exist and how to treat this when it occurs.
Alopecia areata is a condition where one loses hair either in round small patches that can stick around for a short while, or remain permanent in some cases. Some people experience a period where they lose all their scalp hair, and some who cease to grow head hair all together, including hair from other parts of their body. The former condition is known as 'alopecia totalis' and the latter as 'alopecia universalis'. Alopecia areata barbae is when the condition is restricted to one's beard, in most cases.
Although known to affect the scalp area, it can also move to other parts of the body where patches of hair loss or the absence of it, can take place. It is known as an autoimmune disorder, in that, it cannot be explained as to why this happens in healthy people mostly, but there are some outside elements that trigger this problem, like a virus or certain medications. If you have a history of this condition in the family, then you are likely to develop it, since this is hereditary.
Types of Hair Loss
Besides alopecia barbae, there are other disorders that cause hair loss in a person, although each one has a different way of revealing itself.
- Androgenic Alopecia: Commonly known as male-pattern baldness, since this occurs highly in men.
- Cicatricial Alopecia: Also known as scarring alopecia, this kind of hair loss occurs due to inflammation that damages hair follicles, leaving them scarred. This stunts the growth of new hair, and can be seen in different skin conditions like lichen planus and lupus erythematosus.
- Telogen Effluvium: This type of hair loss is brought on by the use of certain medication, stress, fever and even pregnancy.
- Trichotillomania: A psychological disorder is responsible for making one pull out his / her own hair. This manual pulling out of hair leads to this condition.
- Traction Alopecia: Hairstyling methods, and constant strain applied to follicles makes hair fall, and can grow back only if one were to stop the process that can lead to scarring.
- Alopecia Areata Monolocularis: This kind of condition is evident when hair loss is seen in multiple areas of the body.
- Diffuse Alopecia Areata: The hair loss on one's scalp is more scattered, causing it to sprout up in random areas on one's head.
Alopecia Areata Barbae Causes
This condition occurs when outside elements hinder the growth of hair, damage follicles, or cause hair to thin. It is a condition that men mostly experience since this is of course a condition that is restricted to the beard region, that is, facial hair. Other reasons that this could be happening to you are because of:
- Conditions like lupus and diabetes can lead to hair loss.
- Eating disorders can lead to hair loss, where there is a lack of iron and protein in the body.
- Hair fall occurs when one goes through treatments like radiation therapy or chemotherapy, where hair grows back after the end of it.
- Stress that is both mental and emotional.
- Use of drugs for arthritis, heart problems, gout and rise in blood pressure can aid in hair loss.
- Overactive / under active thyroid gland.
- Infections that take place like that caused by ringworm, can lead to hair loss, and should be treated immediately with medication that eliminate these worms.
Alopecia Areata Barbae Treatment
Corticosteroids is your best bet to help fight against the different forms of alopecia areata, where hair loss in the facial region can be treated using these medicines. It is injected into the bald spots just beneath the epidermis, where it duplicates the effects of hormones when released by the adrenal glands. These are given over a span of a couple of weeks until improvement has been witnessed. Unlike injected corticosteroids, another form of this (systemic) is given in pill form, but with severe side effects as part of the process. There's an alternative that can be experimented with known as topical immunomodulator and biologic therapy, which incorporates the use of drugs like topical cyclosporine, pimecrolimus and infliximab. Besides these treatment options that are surgical options on how to fix the problem, although it would be better to just remain hairless in the facial region, should the problem be restricted to this one area.
Men can try out varied alternatives when it comes to facial hair loss by consulting a dermatologist or specialist about what can be done to renew growth or deal with bald patches.