You could be at the hairdressers, you could be in the shower, or you could have just got out of bed. Being told, feeling or seeing a random bald patch on your scalp is the last thing anyone wants to experience. But for 2% of the population, alopecia areata is a very real, spontaneous form of hair loss that leaves the sufferer distressed and confused.
Alopecia areata is a condition that sees sudden bald patches appearing in the scalp, beard, eyebrows, or anywhere else on the body. There may be only one bald patch or there may be a few and despite the alarming nature of the condition, it does not indicate any other form of physical illness.
People who develop these small, rounded bald patches are generally in good health but for some unknown reason the body’s immune system has turned on itself and is affecting the hair follicles. Alopecia areata is classified as an autoimmune disorder and has been linked to other conditions of a similar nature such as overactive and underactive thyroids, coeliac disease and diabetes. Unlike these conditions however, hair loss is alopecia areata’s only known symptom.
Get in touch with a hair loss specialist if you have developed sudden patchy hair loss. It’s believed this type of shedding may be the result of severe or chronic stress and in 70% of cases it should grow back on its own without treatment. However, if it’s an immediate concern for you or if the hair hasn’t grown back within six months, treatment for Alopecia Areata can be helpful.
Some options include steroid injections into the scalp, but not only are they extremely painful they can cause high blood pressure, diabetes and suppress the immune system. Then there’s puva or UV light treatment, but it could cause burning, itchiness and increase the risk of skin cancer. Contact sensitisation is another method where chemicals are used to cause an allergic reaction on the scalp in hope to distract the immune system, but it’s irritating, may cause inflammation and affect skin colour. Transplant surgery is a possibility but not always, so speak to a hair loss specialist about it.
Belgravia has had notable success in treating mild to moderate cases of Alopecia Areata with high strength minoxidil which is applied directly to the bald patches, daily. Many examples of clients before and after starting treatment can be seen in our Alopecia Areata Treatment Success Stories gallery.
If you’d like to arrange an appointment with a hair loss specialist, call the Belgravia Centre on 020 7730 6666 or send an email. If you can’t make it into the centre, fill in the online diagnostic form for expert knowledge and impartial advice on the best method of treatment for your individual case.