What is Alopecia?

Alopecia is a general term meaning “hair loss”.  There are several different types of alopecia. Below, is a detailed description of one common type, Alopecia Areata. 

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an immune disorder that causes the hair to fall out. The amount of hair loss differs for each person. Sometimes, the hair will grow back but falls out again later, unpredictably. Patients may also notice small bald patches on the scalp or other areas of the body, or fingernails that become red, brittle, or pitted. While the exact cause for alopecia is unknown, doctors believe that genes play a part. Those with a family history of alopecia or autoimmune conditions are often at a higher risk of developing this condition.

There are different subtypes of alopecia areata, such as:

  • Alopecia Areata Totalis: All of the hair has been lost on the head.
  • Alopecia Areata Universalis: There is a loss of hair on the entire body.
  • Diffuse Alopecia Areata: A sudden thinning of the hair rather than a loss of patches of hair.
  • Ophiasis Alopecia Areata: Hair is lost in a band shape around the sides of the head.

Alopecia Areata Treatment Options

While alopecia areata is not usually a serious medical condition, it can cause anxiety and self-consciousness. There are a number of treatment options to improve the symptoms of this condition, including:

Corticosteroids: These anti-inflammatory drugs can be given as an injection into the scalp or other areas. They are also rubbed onto the skin as an ointment or lotion. 

Topical Irritant or Immunotherapy: When there has been a large amount of hair loss, this option may be used. Chemicals are applied to the scalp to create an allergic reaction, which causes the hair to grow back. This often has to be repeated several times to see results.

Oral Immunosuppressants: These medications work by blocking the immune system’s response that is forming alopecia areata. Common examples include methotrexate or cyclosporine.

Who is a Good Candidate for Treatment?

Alopecia areata can be an emotionally challenging condition, which can cause patients to feel isolated or anxious. If your alopecia areata is causing a negative impact on your mental health, you may benefit from treatment. 


Alopecia areata treatment may take months to produce results, depending on the type of alopecia and treatment method chosen. Many patients notice an improvement in the appearance of their hair following regular alopecia treatment. 

Contact Us Today

If you are living with alopecia and would like to learn more about your treatment options for a more comfortable and confident you, contact DermAtelier on Avenue today to learn how to arrange a consultation! 



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