Health

How to prevent alopecia areata

How to prevent alopecia areata

There are many types of hair loss and they vary. The most common condition of hair loss is alopecia areata. So how can we prevent this from happening or getting worse? In this article, we will discuss what we need to prevent alopecia areata.

What is alopecia areata?

Alopecia areata is a type of autoimmune condition that causes small patches of hair to fall out, which may not be obvious for some people. However, these patches may connect and then become more visible. Some people just lost it in a few places. Others may have lost a lot. Sometimes, the hair grows back, but then falls out again. In other cases, the hair grows back forever.

Causes

  • A family member who also has alopecia areata
  • Asthma
  • Down syndrome
  • Pernicious anemia(Vitamin B12 anemia)
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Thyroid disease
  • Vitiligo

Signs and symptoms

The main symptom for alopecia areata is hair loss of different forms such as:

  • Small bald patches on the scalp or other parts of the body.
  • Patches have the possibility to grow larger and grow together into bald patches.
  • Hair grows back in one place and falls out in another.
  • You will lose a lot of hair in a short period of time.
  • More hair loss in the cold weather.
  • Red, brittle, pitted fingernails and toenails.

Treatment and prevention

There is no permanent cure for alopecia areata, but there are many treatments you can take in order to prevent it from getting worse. Here are some of the most common treatments and preventions for more visible effects.

Topical medicine

  • Minoxidil is an over-the-counter medication that is applied to the scalp, eyebrows, and beard twice a day. It’s relatively safe, but it can take a year to see results. There is only evidence that it works for people with limited alopecia areata.
  • Anthralin is a drug that stimulates the skin to stimulate hair regrowth.
  • Corticosteroid creams such as clobetasol , foams, lotions, and ointments are thought to work by reducing inflammation in the hair follicles.
  • Topical immunotherapy is a technique in which chemicals such as diphenyl cyclopentadiene are applied to the skin to trigger an allergic rash. This poison oak-like rash can lead to new hair growth within six months, but you must continue treatment to keep it growing.

Oral treatments

  • Cortisone tablets are sometimes used for generalized hair loss, but you should discuss this option with your doctor because of possible side effects.
  • Oral immunosuppressants(such as methotrexate and cyclosporine) are another option you can try. They work by blocking the immune system’s response, but carry a risk of side effects such as high blood pressure, liver and kidney damage, serious infections and an increase in a type of cancer called lymphoma.

Injections

  • Steroid injections are a common option for mild plaque alopecia to help regenerate hair on bald spots. Tiny needles inject the steroid into the exposed skin of the affected area. The treatment must be repeated every one to two months to regrow the hair.
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