Alopecia is a chronic hair loss condition that results in patchy bald spots developing on the scalp. There are three forms of alopecia that result in slightly varying forms: alopecia areata, the most common variant, causes patchy hair loss on the scalp; alopecia totalis is a more aggressive form of the condition, resulting in total loss of hair from the head; the most extreme form of the condition, alopecia universalis, causes all of the hair on the body to be lost, including eyelashes, eyebrows and even pubic hair.
More than just hair loss
Alopecia is classed as a chronic inflammatory disease which affects hair follicles, causing the attached hairs to fall out. The condition is neither painful, nor life threatening, although some people report irritation of the skin in affected areas. Some also have problems with dust getting into their eyes because of the loss of protective eyelashes.
Because the condition develops without warning, the hairloss can be shocking and distressing. The British Medical Journal conducted studies of people with alopecia concluding, “the experience of alopecia is psychologically damaging, causes intense emotional suffering, and leads to personal, social, and work related problems in some people.”
Alopecia, anxiety and depression
Hair plays a large part in self-image, particularly for women. Studies suggest that around 40% of women experiencing alopecia-related female hair loss experience marital problems “as a direct result.” 63% believe that they also run into problems at work through hair loss.
Researchers at the University of California looked into alopecia and mental health, discovering, “those with alopecia may be at higher risk for developing a serious depressive episode, anxiety disorder, social phobia, or paranoid disorder.”
Diagnosis and treatments
As with any hair loss condition, it is absolutely essential to get a full diagnosis from an expert. Once the actual condition has been identified, hair loss treatments and hair loss products can then be explored.
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 diagnostic 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 0800 077 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.