The potential link between low levels of vitamin D and Alopecia Areata has been reinforced by an expert at the Maui Derm 2015 meeting. A recent study conducted in Turkey also found that 91% of Alopecia Areata patients had low levels of vitamin D.
Alopecia Areata is a hair loss condition characterised by sudden or gradual patchy hair loss. The condition is caused by hair follicles prematurely and rapidly entering the telogen, or resting, phase of the growth cycle. Alopecia is categorised as an auto-immune disease, and can be triggered by shock or extreme stress, exposure to toxins, or viral or bacterial infection, although the precise cause remains unknown.
Vitamin D and skin diseases
At the Maui Derm conference, Dr Ted Rosen, Professor of Dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine and Chief of Dermatology at the Houston VA Medical Centre, noted that previous researched linked low levels of the vitamin to a number of skin diseases. He noted that some psoriasis patients with Alopecia Areata had responded to vitamin D supplements and suggested that hair loss specialists should now test Alopecia Areata patients’ levels of the vitamin.
However, Rosen also acknowledged that this does not necessarily suggest that low levels of vitamin D cause Alopecia, or any skin condition. Instead, he suggested that perhaps people with these conditions are more hesitant about going outdoors and therefore receive lower levels of the vitamin from sunlight exposure.
Vitamin link to Alopecia still unclear
As we have previously reported, the link between vitamin D and the human hair cycle is still unclear, and further human study would be welcomed to establish whether vitamin D supplementation may prove beneficial to Alopecia sufferers.
In up to 70% of Alopecia Areata cases, hair will grow back on its own within a year. However, it may also recur and in some cases can lead to a more severe form of hair loss –the advanced Alopecia Totalis or Alopecia Universalis (complete hair loss on the scalp, or scalp and body, respectively). Also, stress can worsen the condition, so it is important to consider early treatment.
There are a range of options for Alopecia Areata treatment, so if you are concerned by patchy hair loss, contact a specialist as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis and advice on a bespoke hair loss treatment plan.
The 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.