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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: 3748
Last updated: 09/08/2016 3:05 PM,

Performance Report

(Based on 3748 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
2016-04-29
Office ambiance and the how attentive everyone is in the office.
#2
2012-12-06 11:38:48
I was scared that I had something on my face after my laser treatment. As it turns out Jill took a second look and told me it was normal and it will resolve. The reason why I tell you this is because Lisa at the front desk was instrumental on making sure I was followed up and that my fears were elevated. Lisa was outstanding! From my experiences in the past, I find most people at the front desk don't really care about the patients. However, I did not get that from Lisa. She kept in contact with me until I was completely satisfied with my care. She really is a professional and deserves recognition. Her job is the most important one in the office. I have left other offices in the past because I didn't care for the staff. That won't happen here! Hats of to LISA!!!! P.S. The computer in the waiting room is AWESOME too!!!
#3
2011-01-12 08:19:57
best waiting room decor ever enjoyed talking to doctor
#4
2012-10-16 12:55:55
The entire staff was friendly, efficient and professional. Office and exam room were immaculate. Exam was thorough and complete. I have peace of mind that I have no problems at this time.
#5
2016-05-20
Everyone was friendly, yet professional
#6
2016-09-25
Everyone very freindly. That's important.
#7
2016-01-23
The doctor was very friendly and made everything relaxing.
#8
2016-01-10
The amount of time the doctor spent and the medical assistant. I didn't feel rushed
#9
2015-12-09
I really appreciated the friendliness and attentiveness of the doctor, medical assistants and office staff.
#10
2016-01-10
Staff & Doctor were very friendly.

What can we do better?

(answers:373)
#1
2010-08-23 16:38:55
A follow up, even if its an email, after the apt. could help!
#2
2016-01-08
Being able to get an appointment at the time of the outbreak.
#3
2016-07-05
Please send out paperwork in advance for pediatric patients
#4
2015-10-01
nothing just keep up the good work.
#5
2016-08-16
you cannot serve me any better than I was served today
#6
2011-08-03 11:52:57
Its hard to find anything that you guys didn't do correct. Keep up the good work
#7
2010-10-14 12:21:49
all good
#8
2011-03-24 10:10:11
While I totally understand the late policy, unfortunately my daughter and I drove 1.5 hrs to the facility and given the weather and errorous directions, we ended up being 7 mins late. I immediately called the office while on route to explain that we were lost and sought correct directions. The receptionist was very curt, short and condesending. Upon our arrival, there was no warm greeting and very limited eye contact. Again,as a heath care provider myself, I appreciate the need to follow a schedule, however, our appointments were in direct succession and I do not think it would have had a significant impact on the work schedule, given our special circumstance.
#9
2016-01-15
don't think you could!!
#10
2010-11-08 09:51:29
move closer to home
Customer Rating : 4.96

Based on 3748 ratings
1516 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215.545.5458
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rad@ringpfeildermatology.com