My son has Alopecia Areata. How or what are the symptoms? Is it just loosing all the body hair?
Can You Treat Alopecia Areata?
Doctor Answers 7
Can you treat alopecia areata?
Most patients with alopecia areata don't have symptoms. A small proportion have a bit of itching before the hair is lost in a particular area. Any hair on the body can be lost (scalp, eyebrow, eyelash, body hair, nose hair, pubic hair) but most often it's just the scalp hair.
In general about one half those who develop alopecia areata will experience hair loss before the age of 20. So it's quite common for alopecia areata to start in children. This condition is a type of an autoimmune condition, meaning that the body’s own immune system is attacking the hairs. Many of my patients really want to know the cause when the come in for their appointments the exact cause, however is still unknown.
TYPES OF ALOPECIA AREATAThere is alot of somewhat confusing language when it comes to alopecia areata
- patchy alopecia areata refers to the development of a limited number of patches (circular areas of hair loss) on the scalp
- Alopecia totalis refers to all the scalp hair being lost.
- Alopecia universalis refers to loss of scalp hair as well as all body hair.
- Ophiasis refers to a type of alopecia where the hair at the back of the head is lost.
When it comes to treatment, you really want to meet a hair loss dermatologist. They can offer the widest array of treatments possible. Treatments help some patients to regrow hair. Hair loss might occur in the future - but if just small areas are lost, then localized treatments might help get the hair back again.
a) If patients have limited areas of hair loss, treatments include:
- steroid injections
- minoxidil (Rogaine)
- 6-8 weeks of Prednisone
- squaric acid
- steroid injections
- cyclosporine (rare)
Alopecia areata treatment
Alopecia Areata Is Treatable But Can be More Difficult to Treat in Younger Hair Loss Sufferers
I’m sorry to hear that your son is experiencing hair loss. Because Alopecia areata is a non-life threatening autoimmune disease, only a qualified doctor can tell if your son has this form of hair loss.
The symptoms of Alopecia areata can range from mild (single or multiple areas of baldness on the scalp) to severe (a total loss of hair on the scalp and even the eyebrows and eyelashes).
Normally the younger the person is, the more severe Alopecia Areata can be and the more difficult it can be to treat, so it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible if you suspect Alopecia areata. Possible treatment options include:
• Cyclosporine, a powerful immunosuppressant
You might also like...
Alopecia Areata Treatment Options
Alopecia Areata typically presents with patchy hair loss in the scalp. Though the exact etiology is unknown, many different treatments have been tried with varying degrees of success. We have treated many patients with Alopecia Areata with an all natural, botanical oil product with significant improvement in scalp hair growth.
If your son has hair loss in other areas, this should be evaluated by your primary care physician or endocrine specialist since it may not necessarily be Alopecia Areata. There are several other conditions that can cause loss of body hair. Good luck.
This is a condition where hair is lost in patches on head. The description is moth-eaten pattern. It is thought to be an autoimmune disease, which basically means his own body attacks his hair follicles. When alopecia areata can be severe and effect every hair on the entire body. In this case it is usually called alopecia totalis. The exact cause is unknown. There are treatments. Injected or oral steroids can work but are associated with side-effects. Other more experimental immune regulating treatments exist. Look at the hair loss pattern. If it is not really consistent with the normal hair loss pattern of a man, consider other causes of hair loss.
Alopecia areata is a difficult condition to treat
The cause of alopecia areata is unknown though it is thought that it is an autoimmune condition -- where the body fights hair follicles as if they were foreign. It is a very difficult condition to treat. If your son started with whole body hair loss, I would get a second opinion as to the diagnosis. This would be an unusual, though possible, presentaiton of alopecia areata.
Alopecia Areata is treatable but body hair loss may be something else
Alopecia areata is typically a condition that affects the scalp only in small circular patches without a clear causative factor although the thinking is that it can be a T cell immune dysregulation. It can affect the eyebrows too and the entire hair being gone. that would be a condition of alopecia totalis. If all of the scalp, eyebrows, and body hair are gone, that is known as alopecia universalis.
if your son is just losing body hair, that may not be alopecia areata. you need to see a dermatologist and make sure that it is not hormonal, infectious, psychological (plucking out like trichotillomania), indicating some kind of underlying abnormality, etc.
Alopecia areata can resolve by itself and be treated with minoxidil and injectable steroids. Hair transplant is not an option unless the condition is well burned out.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.