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How to Stop Alopecia Areata from Spreading?

Alopecia Areata

How to stop alopecia areata from spreading? Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that attacks hair follicles, resulting in temporary or permanent hair loss all over the body, including the scalp. The condition occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks your body’s cells, leading to inflammation of the hair follicles, and causing the hair to fall out.

Alopecia Areata
how to stop alopecia areata from spreading

What is Alopecia Areata?

Alopecia areata is a hair loss condition that is believed to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. The body's immune system mistakenly believes that the hair follicles are infected, so it sends out an autoimmune attack and wipes them out. That leaves the scalp completely bald, but many people see their hair come back on its own after months or years. 

This can be frustrating for some because alopecia areata doesn't always have an explanation and there isn't any one test or course of treatment that is right for everybody. The only way to manage alopecia areata at this time is with medical treatments designed to modulate the body's immune response to hair follicles, which helps make alopecia more manageable and less life-altering.

What Causes Alopecia Areata?

This disease is caused by a form of autoimmune disorder that causes the body's immune system to attack the hair follicles. Triggers for this attack can be anything, but the most common triggers are infections and stress.

Other causes of alopecia areata are due to external factors and others are not. Here are some of the possible secondary causes of alopecia areata:

  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Diet
  • Hormonal changes
  • Side effects of medications
  • Allergies

What triggers alopecia areata?

Many factors can trigger the development of alopecia areata. Some people have a genetic predisposition to the condition, and it is more common in people with other autoimmune disorders such as thyroiditis, vitiligo, or pernicious anemia. 

One theory suggests that alopecia areata is triggered by an autoimmune response to proteins in hair follicles. The body's natural immune system may mistake proteins in the follicle as invaders and attack them. This results in inflammation and tissue damage, which can lead to hair loss.

This process may be related to an autoimmune disorder called vitiligo, which causes white patches on the skin due to damage of pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. In some cases, emotional stress has been shown to cause hair loss.

Types of Alopecia Areata

There are three types of alopecia areata: Patchy, Totalis, and Universalis. Patchy alopecia is the most common form, while Totalis and Universalis are less common.

  • Universal alopecia is a result of an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss all over the body.
  • Totalis is when the hair on one or more parts of the head falls out. 
  • Patchy alopecia only affects a small area.

Signs and Symptoms of Alopecia Areata

The symptoms of alopecia areata, or hair loss, can be mild or severe. The most common symptom of this condition is round bald patches on the scalp, but other symptoms may include:

  • Hair thinning, breaking, and shedding more than normal. 
  • Rough, dry, and itchy skin on the scalp. 
  • Hair that doesn't regrow after being lost.
  • An excessive urge to scratch or pull out hairs from the head.
  • Inflammation and soreness around follicles (tiny openings in your skin where hairs grow out).
  • Small sores on the scalp that ooze pus.
  • Intense redness or scaling around follicles. 
  • Red, scaly plaques on the skin near the hair or neck. 
  • Patches of discolored skin with white scale.
  • Large amounts of dark coarse body hair in adults who were born with light colored or no body hair. 
  • Itching, pain, and discomfort on the scalp when wearing tight hats or ponytails. 
  • Dry scalp; dandruff; oily hair. 

How does a Dermatologist Diagnoses Alopecia Areata?

Dermatologists will take a medical history and take a skin biopsy, but doctors may also recommend blood tests and other tests. Skin biopsies reveal changes in hair follicles with special stains (i.e., trichrome) that are revealing of their nature. The dermatologist's diagnosis is more certain when it can be correlated with the patient's clinical features and lab study results.

The diagnosis is rendered with reasonable certainty when the findings are localized to one side of the scalp. Many benign conditions resemble alopecia areata, including male pattern baldness, telogen effluvium, seborrheic dermatitis, lichen planus, pityriasis rubra pilaris, and tinea capitis. 

How to Stop Alopecia Areata from Spreading
alopecia-areata

Who gets this hair loss disease?

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. This means that your immune system attacks your hair follicles. For many people, this starts with one or two spots where their hair has fallen out.

Over time, the hair loss progresses and new patches of hair may show up elsewhere on the head. If you've never had the condition before and suddenly have more than twenty bald spots, it's possible you could have alopecia areata. There is no cure for this condition, but there are treatments that can slow down its progression and make it less severe.

Your dermatologist might prescribe you steroid injections into the scalp, along with immunosuppressive drugs like methotrexate (Trexall), cyclosporine (Neoral), and mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept). 

Your doctor will recommend these treatments if you're experiencing rapid hair loss in a localized area, and they should be used as soon as possible. However, if your problem isn't getting worse quickly enough for these treatments to be necessary, topical medications might help maintain what hair growth remains. Options include topical corticosteroids applied directly to the affected areas or topical minoxidil (Rogaine) applied twice daily.

How to Prevent Alopecia Areata from Coming Back after it has been Completely Cured?

Alopecia areata is not a life-threatening condition, but it can be hard on your s. The good news is that there are things you can do to prevent alopecia areata from coming back after it has been cured.

  1. Get your hair trimmed regularly at the salon or barber shop. Trimming will thin out the bald patches in your hair and make them less noticeable. 
  2. Wear a hat when you go outside in cold weather. This will help keep the cold air off of your scalp, which might help prevent alopecia areata from spreading further. You should also put a scarf over your head if you don't have a hat to wear. 
  3. Take multivitamins with zinc, copper, vitamin B12, and folic acid. There's some evidence that these vitamins might help strengthen the immune system and lower stress levels. Stress often makes people more vulnerable to hair loss as well as other health problems like alopecia areata so reducing stress levels may also reduce your risk of developing this condition again. If you're suffering from severe anxiety or depression, consider seeing a doctor who specializes in these conditions and ask about medications that can help manage symptoms. As always, talk to your doctor before starting any new medication or supplements. 
  4. Massage your scalp every day by moving your fingers in circular motions for five minutes. You might want to invest in a massage device specifically made for use on the head, like an electric brush or silicone pad. Massaging your scalp daily can stimulate blood flow to the follicles and encourage healthy hair strands. 
  5. Avoid wearing tight clothes around the neckline because they can cut off circulation by pressing against the jugular vein. 
  6. Use sunscreen on your scalp in the summertime to protect it from sunburns. 
  7. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated because dehydration is linked to alopecia areata. 
  8. Stay away from hot water as much as possible because too much heat can dry up your skin and hair.

Types of Hair Loss Treatments for Alopecia Areata

The main method of treating alopecia areata is with corticosteroids or synthetic derivatives of cortisol. These chemicals work to induce a shift in the overactive immune cells that cause this type of hair loss. Several other treatments can help as well: 

  • Phototherapy.
  • Topical corticosteroids.
  • Laser therapy.
  • Steroid injections and ointments.
  • Chemotherapy drugs like cyclosporine and azathioprine.
  • Immunosuppressants such as methotrexate and azathioprine.
  • Antifungal creams for onychomycosis (a fungal infection around the nails).
  • Minoxidil.
  • Dutasteride.
  • Finasteride.
 It is advised to consult with a doctor about your medications and treatment.

Solar Therapy for Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata, or AA, is a form of hair loss that can affect any person of any age. There is no cure for the disease, but there are many treatments that can help it stay under control. One of the most common treatments is solar therapy. This treatment involves sitting out in the sun for 30 minutes each day to promote hair growth and stop alopecia areata from spreading. 

Solar therapy sounds like a great idea because it's natural and free, but there's still a bit more information you need before deciding on this treatment. First off, if you have pale skin or burn easily in the sun, this treatment isn't for you because it could result in more damage than good.

You'll also want to be aware of your location so you don't accidentally spend too much time in the sun. For example, UV rays are stronger at higher altitudes so make sure not to spend too much time outside when you're at higher elevations.

It's also important to wear sunscreen every day, even if you go out only briefly. Lastly, remember that there are other ways to treat alopecia areata besides just using solar energy alone. Discuss all your options with a dermatologist before starting any new treatments!

What Foods Help Alopecia Areata?

While there is no known cure for alopecia areata, eating the right foods can help you maintain a healthy diet and prevent this condition from spreading. Here are some easy ways to make sure you're doing all that you can for yourself and your skin: 

  • First of all, it's important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Drinking enough water will ensure that your skin stays moisturized so as not to dry out when suffering from alopecia areata. 
  • Secondly, eat plenty of fruits rich in Vitamin C such as strawberries or oranges. These fruits will strengthen your immune system and may even help slow down the progression of alopecia areata. 
  • Next, try adding an apple or two into your daily diet. The malic acid found in apples helps to remove toxins from your body and has been proven to promote hair growth. 
  • Finally, don't forget about omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3s are crucial for any skin disorder because they promote healing. As well as being great sources of protein, fish oils like salmon, herring, sardines, and tuna contain omega-3 fatty acids which will keep your hair healthy while minimizing further loss of hair caused by alopecia areata. It's recommended to include these types of fatty acids at least once per week to experience the best results.
Naturally, it's essential to discuss changes in your diet with your doctor before going through any adjustments.

Can I Grow Back My Hair After It Falls Out From Alopecia Areata?

Many of us worry about our hair when it starts falling out because it's a sign that something is wrong with the body. But even though this issue can be very serious and cause an alarming amount of hair to fall out at once, it doesn't always mean that you will never grow your hair back again.

If you are suffering from alopecia areata, there are ways that you can stop the progression of the condition and start growing your hair back so take care of yourself, try these steps below:

  • Shampoo Less Often: The general rule is every two days. Use a dry shampoo in between washes if possible. This will prevent excessive exposure and irritation to your scalp. It will also allow the natural oils on your head time to properly hydrate and strengthen the strands. When using shampoo, use gentle shampoos or those specially formulated for people who have sensitive scalps. 
  • Avoid Chemical Treatments: Anything that causes heat or changes the pH balance of your scalp can trigger outbreaks in some people with alopecia areata which is why you should avoid any chemical treatments like coloring or perming. 
  • Consider Shaving Your Head Once Outbreaks Are Completely Over: It may seem counterintuitive but shaving your head after all outbreaks have subsided may help regrow lost hair follicles faster than leaving them exposed. Hair follicles need both adequate nutrition and protection against environmental factors to stay healthy and intact. They receive both when they're inside the protective layers of your skin so keeping them covered by your locks during remission periods may help stimulate growth better than letting them lie bare.
  • Cut Down On Stress: Studies show that people dealing with chronic stress are more likely to experience episodes of alopecia areata. Reduce stress by exercising, going outside more often, spending quality time with friends, family members, and pets, practicing meditation/yoga/relaxation techniques, etc. These things not only reduce symptoms of anxiety-related illnesses but also provide you with better physical health as well as mental well-being which makes it easier for your body to heal itself naturally.

Conclusion

Alopecia areata, otherwise known as AA, is a chronic skin condition where the hair follicles of the scalp don't grow new hair. This condition can cause bald spots on the scalp and sometimes even eyebrows or eyelashes on the face. The good news is that there are many treatment options available for those who suffer from this chronic skin condition.

However, it's best to make sure your doctor is aware of any other medical conditions you have to create a plan that will work best for you. Some methods of treatment include topical medications, injections, oral medications, and immunosuppressants which may be injected intravenously or taken orally by mouth.



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