Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that can result in the sudden loss of hair in round, circular patches on the scalp or body. It is thought to be the body’s immune response of attacking the perceived threat of the hair follicles. The inflammatory cycle is unpredictable and can go through stages of loss and regrowth. Alopecia areata can sometimes run in families, and be more common in people with other autoimmune disorders, like thyroid diseases, diabetes, and lupus.
It is thought that one’s genetic makeup, immune system, and possible other unknown triggers may cause the cycle of inflammation of hair loss.
The onset or recurrence of hair loss is sometimes triggered by:
● Viral infection
● Hormonal changes
● Emotional/physical stressors
Hair usually grows back by itself, but at a slow rate. The natural regrowth of hair can often be sped up by injecting cortisone medication into the area of hair loss. The cortisone is injected directly into the skin of the affected areas. It acts only in the specific area where it has been injected. Unfortunately, this does not prevent new areas of hair loss. However, if new areas of hair loss appear, regrowth may be helped by injecting the cortisone in those areas. Alternatively, topical medications may be used.
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