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

Performance Report

(Based on 3682 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
2014-06-25
Doctor is extremely efficient and knowledgeable, and even discussed treatment for another condition -- my oral canker sores -- which nobody had ever mentioned previously. Also, the office is really lovely with nice music, rather than pical office music.
#2
2013-12-29
Your neatness. The orange uniforms give a cheery, clean appearance to the practice.
#3
2013-10-14
How great the Doctor was
#4
2011-04-15 08:36:16
I especially enjoyed the atmosphere and the music. It made my visit very enjoyable.
#5
2013-08-04
Patience and Politiness
#6
2011-05-18 16:40:00
The doctor explained things thoroughly to me. She was able to treat a couple of skin growths on site today. I was given a couple of sample products as well as a coupon toward the purchase of one of the prescribed products that I am to use.
#7
2011-11-10 12:40:32
The staff was very friendly, helpful and professional. The doctor herself is a pro, I was very impressed and will definitely recommend her to others, especially of my race. Its very hard to find a good dermatologist and I believe she is wonderful and really knows what she's doing. I am glad that I came here, thank you.
#8
2014-06-18
The Dr. saw us on time. No waiting.
#9
2013-10-30
The staff was wonderful. They were knowledgeable, professional and personable. The office beautiful, even the music was great.
#10
2013-11-22
I enjoyed how friendly everyone was.

What can we do better?

(answers:373)
#1
2010-08-23 16:22:28
More appointment availability either early or later (before or after the normal 9-5 workday)
#2
2014-06-08
Can't think of anything staff were very helpful
#3
2014-06-08
everything was wondurful. Thanks!
#4
2013-10-19
give me choices of what type of medicines that i can take
#5
2013-08-11
It was a very good visit! Thank You!
#6
2014-06-24
Everything was great! No further suggestion at this time.
#7
2013-10-20
music mix
#8
2014-01-02
May be by considering the comfort of the patients by allowing a grace period of atleast10-15mins and also by functioning on weekends too
#9
2011-01-04 10:23:13
So far so good!
#10
2011-01-10 12:20:58
REDUCE WAIT TIME TO SEE DOCTOR