What is Alopecia Areata? Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease caused by the immune system and happens when the white blood cells attack hair follicles across the body. (Usually the scalp, but can spread to other areas). It causes round/oval patches of baldness to appear over the scalp in a very disturbing way.
Alopecia Areata occurs in both genders. It usually happens in early adulthood between the ages of 18 and 30.
It`s usually a genetic problem. The causes are not yet completely figured, but by tracking thousands of patients, 20% were found to have other family members with similar symptoms. Most of the time, the baldness pattern is temporary. However – and in rare cases – the patches will expand and spread across the scalp casing permanent hair loss over the scalp (Alopecia Totalis) or other body parts (Alopecia Universalis).
Different between Alopecia Areata and Androgenetic Alopecia and Alopecia Universalis The regular type of baldness all people know (the Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson type) is called or Androgenetic alopecia.
This type is often cured (or improved) with hair restoration.
The same works for other “simpler” types of Alopecia like Cicatricial alopecia (scarring hair loss) and Traction alopecia caused by ponytail, pigtails, or braids.
Yet, things are different with Alopecia Areata, Totalis, and Universalis.
The randomness and unpredictable nature of these diseases makes it difficult, if not impossible, for a doctor to predict how the hair-loss pattern will evolve.
New bald spots may appear in different areas on the scalp.
And though many alopecia Areata patients restore their hair back within a year of medical treatment, there`s no guarantee a new cycle of bald patches won`t appear in the future. (30% of patients suffer from alopecia Areata after hair regrowth).
Surgical scars from hair transplant (if undergone) may be left uncovered in case the disease came back. Besides, nothing guarantees the immune system won`t attack the planted areas.
Things get even worse with the complete absence of donor hair in the cases of alopecia Totalis and Universalis.
The Best Way to Deal with Alopecia Areata No alopecia is curable. Science is yet to discover the genes behind the disease or a permanent cure.
However, unlike Alopecia Totalis, a simpler type of alopecia – i.e., alopecia Areata – can be cured temporarily using steroid injections or Minoxidil.
There`s still a possibility that new bald spots appear again at the same, or at different areas of the scalp.
The best solution in this case is SMP or Scalp Micro-Pigmenation.
Basically, this is scalp-tattooing type of treatment in which thousands of small pigments are professionally placed all over the scalp within the skin`s dermal layer.
This will make the scalp look like it`s nearly-shaved and gives a much better look than complete baldness.
SMP is the best known solution to alopecia areata, totalis and universalis. It doesn`t hurt, it`s done of the course of three sessions (1 session/week).
And it`s very effective at hiding scars especially for those who had undergone hair-transplant but lost their due to another cycle of alopecia areata. It lasts between 3-5 years.