September is Alopecia Areata Awareness Month. Organized by the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, the goal is to raise awareness of alopecia areata by sharing educational information, organizing local events, and getting more people to understand the need for an FDA-approved treatment. The first step to increase the awareness of alopecia areata is to know what it is.
What Is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks your own hair follicles, resulting in damage that leads to hair loss in the affected area. Typically, it affects small patches of hair so, it may go completely unnoticed. However, more patches of hair loss could develop close together, making it more noticeable.
This autoimmune disease doesn’t only affect your scalp. Alopecia Areata can cause hair loss anywhere on your body. As a result, you may not realize you have it for some time, or it may not be something that requires immediate attention as it could be a small patch of hair missing elsewhere on your body. When it’s affecting your scalp, eyebrows, or, for men, your facial hair region, it becomes a bigger problem that you’ll want to address. Alopecia areata is also more likely to affect women.
What Causes Alopecia Areata?
While it is still unknown as to what exactly causes the immune system to attack the hair follicles in this way, genetics does seem to be a factor. Approximately one in five people who have alopecia areata have a close family member that also has it. Studies suggest that you may also be at higher risk if you or a close family member have a different autoimmune disease. While there is no evidence that stress can cause alopecia areata, it could potentially trigger the onset of an autoimmune disease like this if you were predisposed to it.
Is Alopecia Areata Permanent?
Not necessarily. It is possible that if you only lose a small patch of hair, it may grow back in time. You may also experience some or full hair regrowth over time of a larger patch or patches. Unfortunately, it depends on some factors that are unknown and that aren’t fully understood yet. We still don’t have an FDA-approved treatment for alopecia areata and depending on how the hair loss has affected you, waiting may not be an option.
Explore Your Treatment Option for Alopecia Areata with RHRLI
Alopecia areata doesn’t have to impact your quality of life. If you are suffering from this autoimmune disease resulting in patches of missing hair on your scalp, the experts at RHRLI are here to help. Utilizing the ARTAS® Robotic System for hair restoration, we can move healthy hair follicles to where they’re needed to help you regain your hair and your confidence. We also implement non-surgical solutions to hair restoration and can work on a personalized solution that is the best fit for you. Contact us to set up a free consultation today.