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Health Issues People With Alopecia Areata May Be More Prone To


Many people do not realise that Alopecia Areata, which affects around two per cent of the global population, is not actually a hair loss condition; it is classed as an autoimmune disorder.

Autoimmune disorders cause the body to turn against itself in particular ways depending on the specific type. Alopecia Areata occurs when the body mistakenly attacks a number of hair follicles in the scalp, causing patchy hair loss.

Areas of the Head and Body Affected By Alopecia Areata

Areas of the Head and Body Affected By Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis Shown in Blue

In the more severe strains of Alopecia Areata it targets a wider range of hair follicles; the whole head in cases of Alopecia Totalis, leading to baldness of the whole scalp plus sometimes eyelashes, eyebrows and facial hair will also be affected. Where the entire body is targeted in cases of Alopecia Universalis, this causes complete hair loss from head to toe.

The hair follicles are not harmed in any way, they simply enter a suspension period, disrupting the normal hair growth cycle which prevents any further hair production until the coast is clear. This is why, in many cases of Alopecia Areata, the hair will suddenly start to grow back of its own accord.

Treatment for Alopecia Areata in its moderate form can be successful and many Belgravia clients have seen significant regrowth from using topical applications of high strength minoxidil. Sadly, Alopecia Totalis and Universalis treatment is rather less promising with low chances of success although research is on-going into potential treatments with JAK inhibitors currently showing promise in clinical trials.

More prone to other autoimmune disorders

Although little is known about this mysterious and widespread condition, what is known is that people with one autoimmune condition are more likely to present with others too.

According to a 2010 clinical study into Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome (MAS), in which three or more autoimmune conditions present in one individual simultaneously, ‘About 25 percent of patients with autoimmune diseases have a tendency to develop additional autoimmune diseases’.

This means people with Alopecia Areata may be more susceptible to a number of other health concerns which are in some way linked to their hair fall.

Below we have listed a number of other autoimmune conditions and health issues which have been linked as being potentially more likely to appear alongside Alopecia Areata.

Other autoimmune conditions

Other autoimmune conditions people with Alopecia Areata may be more susceptible to, include:

Type 1 diabetes 

Graves’ disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease

Lichen planus / lichen planopilaris / lichen planus follicularis

Lyme disease

Multiple sclerosis (MS)


Rheumatoid arthritis

Systemic lupus erythematosus (known as SLE or Lupus)

Vitiligo (specifically, non-segmental vitiligo)

Other health issues linked to Alopecia Areata

Dry Eye Disease 


The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic - Hair Loss Specialist ConsultationThe Belgravia Centre

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.

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