Alopecia areata is a reasonably common hair loss condition that we treat at Belgravia. Affecting approximately 2 per cent of the population at some point in their lives, the condition is characterised by bald patches appearing suddenly on the scalp.
Classed as an auto-immune disease, alopecia areata occurs when hair follicles prematurely enter the resting, or telogen, phase of their cycle. This is on account of the hair follicles being mistakenly attacked in groups by the patient’s own immune system. These affected follicles become very small, drastically slow down production, and grow no hair visible above the surface for a time period that can stretch to months and even years.
Follicles Remain Alive
Because the hair follicles are not killed off by alopecia areata, they remain ready to resume normal hair production whenever they receive the appropriate signal. Depending on the severity of the individual case the condition can be treated, and Belgravia offer a bespoke hair loss treatment plan to those with patchy hair loss from alopecia areata.
Belgravia recommends using a high strength minoxidil from the selection available at each centre as these have shown in many cases to be highly effective for treating hair loss from alopecia areata. Minoxidil is licensed by the MHRA and approved by the FDA as a hair loss treatment, and when applied twice a day to the patches of hair loss as part of a custom treatment plan, it can regrow hair in just a few months.
Frustratingly though, for people with alopecia areata a cure is never possible, and whilst years may go by without any hair loss, there is always a chance the condition can return. However, it’s also true that the condition can have environmental triggers, and establishing what these might be could potentially prevent relapses.
Environmental triggers of alopecia areata include but are not limited to: allergies, long-term chronic stress, sudden shocks, pregnancy, a viral or bacterial infection, local injury and genetic predisposition. Of course, some of these factors cannot be avoided, but some can be dealt with.
It’s also important to note that if alopecia areata progresses to the extent that the whole of the scalp is hairless (a condition known as alopecia totalis) or to the point where there is no hair whatsoever on the body either (alopecia universalis) at this point the hair loss cannot be treated at present, although promising trials for potential alopecia totalis and universalis treatments are underway.
So, alopecia areata can return, even after long periods of absence. However, the good news is that as long as the hair loss is patchy and not widespread, a Belgravia hair loss treatment programme that contains minoxidil and a variety of hair growth boosters can help to regrow hair and also ensure that it is kept in its best possible condition.
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.