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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.

How can we help you?

SKIN

# of surveys: 3903
Last updated: 10/13/2021 5:43 PM

PATIENT RATINGS

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
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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%
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0.05%
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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%
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What WE DID WELL

(Answers:674)

Outstanding experience across the board: Dr. R, Melissa, staff, facility.

#12010-11-29 10:34:31

Patience and Politiness

#22021-07-18

The amount of time the doctor spent and the medical assistant. I didn't feel rushed

#32021-10-09

Clear information about treatment options which had not been offered in the past. It is possible that these treatment options are new, but it is also possible that the physician is especially knowledgeable.

#42020-12-12

I admired the advanced technology used by the office. I am all for the use of technology.

#52011-05-05 10:59:36

the doctor and assistant were very nice and the doctor very inormative and clear

#62021-01-02

Very relaxed and comforting environment. This was my first visit with a dermatologist and am quite happy with the experience.

#72021-08-18

I did not feel rushed. I felt I was Heard and listened to. The exam and explanations were clear .When my visit ended all of my questions,, symptoms, and diseases were addressed extensively.I am thrilled that I have found this office. I intend to refer my husband, son and friends.

#82011-05-26 11:49:32

LIKE THE WAY WAY THE EXPLAIN THE PROCEDURE ,AND ALSO LIKE THE STAFF PATIENT INTERACTION.

#92012-10-09 10:22:11

The care, attention and kindness were remarable--thank you!

#102021-05-24

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

move closer to home

#12010-11-08 09:51:29

No Comments

#22021-07-08

I had an appointment for a consulation for sun damage. Unfortunately, I need to see either a doctor or PA for my issue and this was not included in my appointment, so I need to make another trip. It is difficult for me to carve time out of my work day to take care of personal needs, so this is creating an inconvenience for me. I would have preferred to had the complete consultation done in one appointment.

#32011-02-14 14:14:53

i was completely satisfies with everything and everyone. Even my lateness was not held against me.

#42021-09-30

Evening hours

#52021-09-14

Everything was perfect today

#62010-10-05 10:42:21

I wasn't aware that you can register online as a new patient. Can you guys make new patience aware

#72011-07-12 14:35:20

Everything was perfect today

#82010-10-05 10:42:21

I can't think of anything else that you can do, everything was excellent.

#92020-12-02

nothing everything is fine as is.

#102021-05-04
Customer Rating : 4.5

Based on 275 ratings
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