A student at the University of Huddersfield is reaching out to young people with Alopecia Areata the autoimmune disorder which leads to sudden patchy hair loss for help in her PhD studies.
Amrit Bhatti’s PhD study into teenage experience of Alopecia Areata and its related conditions could shed new light on how teenagers feel about themselves after being diagnosed with the condition, and also illustrate the levels of support they receive.
Ms Bhatti has devised a series of questions for paticipants in which she intends to ascertain how it feels at school to be someone with hair loss, and also how home life is affected.
She says that “there are not many studies out there that look at young people’s experience of alopecia and in the study I want to explore how young people manage their alopecia and who supports them to do this.”
She adds that her hope is that she can help improve the wellbeing of others with Alopecia Areata as a result of the study.
All responses used in the study will be anonymous. To get in touch with Ms Bhatti anyone with Alopecia Areata or a related condition - Alopecia Totalis or Alopecia Universalis for example - and who is aged between 13 and 18 is invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Young people and children with Alopecia Areata often remark on how difficult it is to have a “normal” school life, as they are frequently marked out by their peers as being different. Bullying is common and some people, such as 23-year-old Emma Nelson from Yorkshire, say there isn’t enough support.
Emma, who first started losing her hair as a result of Alopecia Areata when she was entering her teens, recently launched a campaign to try and encourage governmental support for young people with autoimmune-related hair loss at the point of diagnosis.
Unlike those aged 16 years of age and over, who have the option of seeking Alopecia Areata treatment, available at a professional hair loss clinic, children have fewer treatment options.
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