Alopecia Areata Treatment

Alopecia Areata - Overview

Alopecia areata is a disorder that affects hair follicles and is reflected in round patches of hair loss. Normally, the immune system functions to protect the body against infection and disease. In alopecia areata, the body’s immune system mistakenly recognizes hair follicles as foreign and attacks them. The cause is not known, but the prevailing scientific hypothesis is that genetics plays a significant role in predisposition and a trigger initiates the attack on the hair follicles.

Diagnosis

Alopecia areata often begins in childhood. The risk is significantly increased if you have a close family member afflicted with the disease. Emotional or physical trauma typically precedes the hair loss by up to 3 months. Hair falls out in small, round patches leaving a smooth hairless scalp in affected areas. Degree of hair loss varies from one bare patch to considerable balding. In rare cases, the disease causes complete loss of hair on the scalp (alopecia totalis) or total body (alopecia universalis). Rarely, alopecia areata presents as diffuse hair loss. On occasion, a scalp biopsy may be performed. If additional signs or symptoms are present, blood tests may reveal other autoimmune conditions.

Management

In most instances, the hair regrows spontaneously; however, this process takes several months. When alopecia areata is located on the scalp and cannot easily be hidden by covering hair or clever hairstyles, the psychological impact of alopecia areata can be severe. There is no make up that imitates hair and a hat may be inappropriate in a school or working environment. A wig can temporarily become necessary.

Treatment and Medication

Alopecia areata is difficult to treat and only few treatments have been assessed in randomized controlled trials. The most common treatments seem to facilitate faster regrowth of hair rather than treat the underlying problem. Typical therapy includes topical corticosteroids, steroid injection under the skin surface, and ultraviolet light therapy, especially narrowband UVB. Irritating drugs may be applied to hairless areas to stimulate hair growth. Rarely, systemic immune suppressive treatments are indicated. Some people with alopecia areata try alternative treatments including acupuncture and Chinese herbs. There is no cure for alopecia areata.

Coping

Many are profoundly upset by their hair loss and some may require psychological support. It might be difficult to cope with relapse following or during initially successful treatment. These considerations are particularly important in children, as social disruption and focusing of the child's attention on their hair loss may result from active treatment. Contact with other sufferers or a patient support group is strongly recommended.

Prevention

When emotional stress is the known trigger, efforts should be made to redirect or avoid these stressors. Some may do well with biofeedback training, mediation or Yoga; others will find their own way of coping with these stressors.

General considerations to keep your hair healthy and minimize the appearance of hair loss include a nutritionally balanced diet; and gentle handling of your hair. Whenever possible, allow your hair to air-dry naturally; avoid tight hairstyles, such as braids, buns or ponytails; and avoid compulsively twisting, rubbing or pulling your hair.

How can we help you?

    SKIN

Uncensored Patient Reviews

# of surveys: 3734
Last updated: 08/07/2015 12:01 PM,

Performance Report

(Based on 3734 surveys)
Would you recommend us?
definitely
93.1%
probably
6.16%
maybe
0.58%
not likely
0.08%
no
0.02%
Compare our service to other similar practices
excellent
87.9%
very good
10.1%
good
1.8%
poor
0.06%
very poor
0%
Overall doctor performance
excellent
94.2%
very good
4.89%
good
0.80%
poor
0.03%
very poor
0%
The doctor listened to you attentively
excellent
93.9%
very good
4.97%
good
1.05%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0%
The doctor took time to answer your questions
excellent
94.0%
very good
4.66%
good
1.27%
poor
0.02%
very poor
0%
The doctor explained treatment options
excellent
94.3%
very good
4.16%
good
1.25%
poor
0.14%
very poor
0.02%
The doctor explained treatment options
excellent
92.0%
very good
5.69%
good
2.18%
poor
0.11%
very poor
0.0%
Front desk performance
excellent
85.6%
very good
10.2%
good
3.66%
poor
0.31%
very poor
0.08%
Aesthetician performance
excellent
88.6%
very good
7.61%
good
3.39%
poor
0.24%
very poor
0.08%
Office comfort
excellent
90.9%
very good
6.93%
good
2.08%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0.05%
Parking
excellent
66.4%
very good
14.4%
good
15.7%
poor
2.49%
very poor
0.9%
Friendliness of the staff during appointment
excellent
90.9%
very good
7.23%
good
1.85%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0%

What did we do Well?

(answers:674)
#1
2015-04-16
I particularly like the assertiveness that the office provided. Being in and out is a best for me.
#2
2014-10-09
I especially liked the friendliness of the staff and doctor. Also, this office is beautiful. I've never seen a doctor's office that compares with this one.
#3
2015-05-24
everyone seemed genuinely friendly.
#4
2014-09-03
Dr Rinfiel took a lot of time an I didn't feel rushed. The MA was also very nice.no wait time.
#5
2015-02-27
the doctor and assistant were very nice and the doctor very inormative and clear
#6
2014-09-07
Everyone was wonderful, kind, helpful & extremely knowledgeable
#7
2011-10-19 12:56:42
I like that you can schedule and access info by computer. The office is beautiful, very relaxing and staff is wonderful. The nicest doctors office I have ever been too
#8
2014-12-30
The staff was wonderful. They were knowledgeable, professional and personable. The office beautiful, even the music was great.
#9
2015-08-29
the staff is terrific....
#10
2014-11-23
I did not have to wait to be seen at all. From the start of my visit until I walked out the door the doctor & staff were very professional & took the tim to answer my questions and listen to me also. I have been seen by other dermatologist and I was defibately impressed here.+++A+++ Higly recommended.

What can we do better?

(answers:373)
#1
2015-07-09
Keep it up!
#2
2015-04-04
Improve the movement of the mouse on its pad.
#3
2011-10-17 16:27:23
Impossible! Best medical office experience possible.
#4
2010-10-21 15:50:32
Can't think of anything right now.
#5
2010-12-07 10:07:04
Maybe directions as "across from the Lexus place." Have the assistant say there may be a name recall test later, as she introduces herself.
#6
2010-10-21 14:58:02
I am very satisfied with my experience at Ringpfeil Dermatology. I travel to get here and it is worth the drive!
#7
2010-10-28 10:21:25
The lock on the door of the unisex bathroom is a little challenging in that you don't know whether it is locked or not. This was a little unnerving.
#8
2015-06-11
I was feeling a bit thirsty the whole stay in the office, maybe making some water available during waiting time would make the stay more comfortable.
#9
2014-10-01
The music in the waiting area could be a bit softer.
#10
2011-02-22 11:25:39
Cannot think of anyway to improve things, unless you want to serve hot tea and cappachino!