Question: What is ophiasic alopecia areata?
Answer: Hi, Aiden. Ophiasic Alopecia Areata – also known as Ophiasic Areata and Ophiasic Alopecia – is a form of the autoimmune condition Alopecia Areata.
Both conditions affect the scalp and Ophiasic alopecia (OA) functions in the same way as Alopecia Areata (AA), it just takes a different shape.
Whereas Alopecia Areata presents diffusely as rounded bald patches, Ophiasic Alopecia (OA) causes hair loss in a circular ring around hairline. Hair fall occurs in a band around the front of the hairline, over the ears and extending around the back of the neck, as can be seen in the example pictured.
This is where the condition takes its name from as ‘ophis’ is Greek for snake and the shape Ophiasic Alopecia takes is thought to be serpentine.
Whilst it is treatable and many of the usual Alopecia Areata treatment options – at Belgravia we recommend high strength minoxidil products from the range available at our clinics – apply, OA cases may take longer to respond.
As it is a severe form of AA, the first line treatments for Alopecia Totalis and Universalis are usually the preferred options, although the success rate for these approaches tends to be fairly minimal. Corticosteroids are not recommended following a 2001 clinical trial which recorded how none of the OA patients showed any response to this type of treatment.
Anyone concerned that their hair is falling out like this and is worried they may have some form of Alopecia Areata – or another hair loss condition – should seek professional advice. A hair loss specialist can both diagnose their cause of shedding and tailor a bespoke regrowth plan.
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.