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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 hair loss by up to 3 months. Hair falls out in small, round patches leaving a smooth hairless scalp in affected areas. The degree of hair loss varies from one bare patch to considerable balding.

In rare cases, the disease causes a complete loss of hair on the scalp (alopecia totalis) or total body (alopecia Universalis). Rarely, alopecia areata presents as diffuse hair loss, widespread hair loss across the scalp. 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 makeup 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 a 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.

Topical drugs may be applied to hairless areas to stimulate hair growth. Rarely, systemic immunosuppressive treatments are used. 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 the hair loss condition can make them feel less comfortable socializing and making friends. 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: 3921
Last updated: 1/13/2021 4:54 PM

PATIENT RATINGS

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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
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good
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Overall doctor performance

excellent
94.2%
very good
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good
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poor
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The doctor listened to you attentively

excellent
93.9%
very good
4.97%
good
1.05%
poor
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The doctor took time to answer your questions

excellent
94.0%
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4.66%
good
1.27%
poor
0.02%
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The doctor explained treatment options

excellent
94.3%
very good
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poor
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The doctor explained treatment options

excellent
92.0%
very good
5.69%
good
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poor
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Front desk performance

excellent
85.6%
very good
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good
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poor
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Aesthetician performance

excellent
88.6%
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Office comfort

excellent
90.9%
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Parking

excellent
66.4%
very good
14.4%
good
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poor
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0.9%

Friendliness of the staff during appointment

excellent
90.9%
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7.23%
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What WE DID WELL

(Answers:674)

Quickness of service, friendliness of staff

#12021-05-19

Novel use of computers

#22021-05-29

Your neatness. The orange uniforms give a cheery, clean appearance to the practice.

#32021-09-07

Thoroughness of exam.

#42011-01-12 12:33:33

I like the knowledge and confident in Dr Ringpfeil.

#52010-12-16 12:15:00

Promptness of being seen by physician, excellent, friendly staff. Dr. really listened and offered a plan to resolve my problem.

#62011-10-17 11:50:17

Both Alana and Dr. Ringfeil listened to all of my concerns. Excellent doctor and office, will highly recommend.

#72011-05-25 10:21:24

Thought Dr. Ringpfeil was very nice and professional!

#82021-11-18

The art on the walls.

#92021-06-01

Lovely environment, sunny, spotless and relaxing classical music

#102021-03-27

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

Can't think of anything right now.

#12010-10-21 15:50:32

Information for patients to take on latest findings/research in the field

#22021-04-09

Can't think of anything staff were very helpful

#32022-01-21

Can't think of a way to better your service; it was excellent.

#42021-04-14

I can't think how anything could have been better.

#52021-08-01

Your rain spouts put water into the driveway to the back parking lot. As it gets colder, it will freeze and create a dangerous pathway for clients

#62010-12-13 11:23:03

I cant think of anything

#72021-11-10

Everything was great! and everyone was very nice.

#82010-10-19 10:16:48

I can't think of a single thing to make it better!

#92021-05-16

Just do the same good job

#102021-07-16

Customer Rating : 4.5

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