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Written by Dr. Ringpfeil

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.

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SKIN

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Last updated: 05/25/2018 9:32 AM,

PATIENT RATINGS

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Overall doctor performance

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The doctor listened to you attentively

excellent
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The doctor took time to answer your questions

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The doctor explained treatment options

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The doctor explained treatment options

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Front desk performance

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Aesthetician performance

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Office comfort

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Parking

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Friendliness of the staff during appointment

excellent
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What WE DID WELL

(Answers:674)

The doctor answered all of my questions and concerns

#12019-07-20

The medical assistant was very friendly and sat with me through the registration process to ensure my computer worked properly. The clinican was very patient and provided excellent care.

#22011-05-25 13:14:40

Doctor was very knowledgable.

#32019-04-05

Thought Dr. Ringpfeil was very nice and professional!

#42019-07-21

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.

#52019-08-25

Love the technology. Dr. listened well to my concerns and was attentive.

#62019-07-15

politeness

#72019-02-15

Dr Rinfiel took a lot of time an I didn't feel rushed. The MA was also very nice.no wait time.

#82019-03-21

Very little wait time, which is so appreciated! Very comfortable atmosphere. Really a wonderful appointment.

#92011-06-02 16:32:12

I thought the waiting area was decorated beautifully and made me feel relaxed and at home.

#102019-06-22

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

I would have liked to pay in cash but the receptionist had no change.

#12019-07-05

more availability for appointments.

#22019-06-25

THANK YOU!

#32019-04-22

wouldnt change nothing

#42019-01-17

please change the paintings in the reception area....

#52011-02-02 11:01:42

I'm sending my whole family here. It's wonderful.

#62019-05-12

Everything was great

#72018-11-21

I cannot think of a thing that would make the visit any better.

#82010-11-03 15:36:43

?water cooler in the waiting room?

#92019-05-09

No major suggestions. I got all the answers I needed.

#102018-12-02
Customer Rating : 4.5

Based on 110 ratings