The study, conducted by Girish C. Mohan, M.D., and Jonathan I. Silverberg, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, conducted a systematic review of data from 33 previous observational studies of patients with Alopecia Areata and Atopic Dermatitis.
What is Alopecia?
Alopecia Areata is a hair loss condition which causes sudden, patchy hair loss. It has two more severe forms: Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis, where all hair is lost on the head and body respectively.
Although alopecia affects approximately one person in every thousand, it is not known what causes the onset of the condition. External factors such as stress are thought to play a part, as are genetics.
Although there is no cure, treatment for Alopecia Areata can be successful although, as yet, treatment for Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis has a less promising track record.
What is Atopic Dermatitis?
Atopic Dermatitis (AD) is an inflammatory skin disorder more commonly known as Atopic Eczema. It is a chronic condition which causes skin to become red, itchy, dry and inflamed. It most commonly appears in skin creases such as behind the knees or inside the elbows, and in the most severe cases, skin can crack and bleed.
One in five children in the UK suffer from Atopic Dermatitis however in over half of cases the condition clears up by the time the child reaches 16. In severe cases, the condition can remain throughout life.
Like Alopecia, the cause of AD is unknown, although genetic factors are thought to play a part. There is also no known cure, although various treatments have been found to reduce the severity of the condition.
Increased risk of Atopic Dermatitis for people with Alopecia
Although it was reported that 9-26% of Alopecia sufferers also had Atopic Dermatitis (compared with 5-20% in the general population) previous studies have been small and found conflicting results as to whether Atopic Dermatitis is increased in patients with Alopecia Areata.
However this systematic review concluded that patients with Alopecia, especially Alopecia Totalis or Universalis, do have a significantly increased risk for Atopic Dermatitis, opening up the possibility of further research to explore potential causes and treatments for both conditions.
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.