A study into people with a commonly-seen form of eczema has found that the chances of them going on to develop Alopecia Areata, which leads to sudden, patchy hair loss, are “significantly increased” when compared to what would typically be expected.
The condition that was investigated is known as atopic dermatitis, which the NHS website says is the most common form of eczema. It causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked.
Doctors at the Warren Alpert Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island, found that 11 per cent of the people whose records they assessed had a history of atopic dermatitis (AD) in 2009. Over the next two years, 147 of these people went on to be seen by a doctor for Alopecia Areata as well.
AD is a risk factor
The doctors in the American study say that AD should now be recorded as a risk factor for developing Alopecia Areata. “This study provides further evidence that these conditions are frequently comorbid,” they write, having found that AD is also often a marker for the skin-lightening condition vitiligo, too. Comorbid, incidentally, means medical conditions that occur at the same time.
Alopecia Areata is a vexing autoimmune disorder that has been in the news quite a lot of late, as it is perhaps only now that the condition is starting to become more fully understood. There are several ‘triggers’ for the condition, including psychological long-term stress, physical trauma, shock and sudden extreme stress, allergies and more.
What makes it so distressing for people with the condition is that the sudden bald patches caused by Alopecia Areata quite often clear up by themselves within six months or so after the initial hair loss… only to return at a later date, often on a different part of the head. It is also impossible to predict whether or not the hair will regrow, which can make it something of a waiting game. Whilst one-off instances are common, a diagnosis of Alopecia Areata can, therefore, also be the beginning of a life-long journey in which losing one’s hair is a recurrent feature.
Alopecia Areata treatment is available, however, and at Belgravia our approach, using topical solutions and hair growth boosters, has produced many success stories. Each treatment plan is customised to the individual client’s needs by their dedicated hair loss specialist who will provide advice and recommendations, as well as support throughout their course.
Two per cent affected
Around two per cent of all people will be affected by Alopecia Areata hair loss in their lifetime, meaning a potential market of many millions for those involved in the creation of treatments for the condition. One area of research that is showing real promise is that centred around a collection of drugs known as JAK inhibitors, which were originally developed to treat certain cancers, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions.
It is likely to be some time, however, before any new products based around these drugs become available for people with Alopecia Areata, meaning that anyone presenting with the condition today would be ill-advised to sit back and wait for a miracle cure, especially as the condition can often, as stated, be treated at a specialist clinic.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.