An American basketball player whose hair loss was caused by a rare form of the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata has strengthened his commitment to raising awareness of the condition by having the word “Alopecia” tattooed on his arm.
Former Dallas Mavericks star Charlie Villanueva has already done more to highlight the condition than almost anyone, having served as a spokesman for the NAAFA – America’s National Alopecia Areata Foundation – for some years. He also recently raised $50,000 in Kickstarter funding to make a film about his struggles with Alopecia Universalis, a condition which causes total hair loss all over the body.
Talk of Instagram
His latest initiative to make more people aware of Alopecia Areata and its related conditions has been the talk of Instagram after the player chronicled his Alopecia tattoo journey. At the time of writing, there were more than 1,100 likes for the photo Charlie posted on Instagram of his finished tattoo, which features the word ‘Alopecia’ on an angelic, winged motif with a halo atop the ‘A’ and ‘L’. Continues below
Alongside the photo Charlie wrote: “Finished piece. Did it for my angels. Charlie’s Angels. Without having Alopecia I don’t know where I would be. Alopecia is a blessing in disguise and it made me who I am today. So What is Alopecia? My purpose in life.”
Charlie’s Angels is the name of the player’s community programme in which he works with youngsters who have Alopecia Areata to help give them a shot of confidence during what is often a very difficult part of their lives. The NBA star is considered especially inspirational as he suffered from bullying after seeing all of his hair disappear between the ages of 10 and 12.
Writing about his condition last year, he said that, “People made fun of me… kids can be mean and nasty. I had no one to look up to and guide me. So I took to basketball. Basketball was my therapist… it’s is where I felt normal.”
The tattoo, it seems, is a hit. A string of comments praise the player for his commitment to helping others, including one from someone named Ray Richardson who writes: “I have a son with Alopecia and he looks up to you. I am sending this cause it affected me more then him, I think, cause he has basketball. It was so much easier when he saw you in the NBA. So thank you.”
Treatment for scalp-only alopecia
Alopecia Areata treatment can often be successful, especially if an early diagnosis is made and treatment begins promptly while the hairloss is mild to moderate. Belgravia has seen many Success Stories from treating clients with this stage of the condition using topical formulations of high strength minoxidil.
Unfortunately Alopecia Universalis, as well as a similar condition Alopecia Totalis which causes total hair loss all over the head, do not currently have high success rates when it comes to treatment.
Accordingly, the medical community is regularly searching for new treatment options, some of the most promising trials into which have employed the use of drugs known as JAK inhibitors.
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.