What is alopecia?
The short answer is “hair loss.”
Alopecia areata is a condition that causes hair to fall out in small, often unnoticed patches. The condition can worsen into alopecia universalis, which causes total hair loss.
The hair may grow back, but alopecia often returns. The condition varies from person to person.
What causes alopecia?
Alopecia is an auto-immune disease, which means that the body attacks its own cells – in this case hair follicles – mistaking then for foreign invaders like viruses or bacteria. The actual cause remains unknown, but researchers suspect both genetics and environmental factors may play a role.
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 5 million Americans have this condition. Males and females can both experience alopecia, but it is more common in females. Even children can develop the condition.
What can you do?
The first thing to do if you think you might have alopecia is to set an appointment with your DermSurgery Associates dermatologist. They will examine your scalp and may perform a biopsy or blood test to determine whether what you are experiencing is alopecia or something else.
Many auto-immune disease experts often recommend an anti-inflammatory diet to help quiet the auto-immune response in the body. Sugar, processed foods and alcohol may trigger inflammation in the body. An anti-inflammatory diet features whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean meat.
Treatments may include topical applications, injections, oral treatments or innovative approaches like light therapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.
What is PRP?
In PRP therapy, your own plasma is spun down in a centrifuge from a sample of your own blood. This plasma contains growth factors that stimulate surrounding stem cells to repair damaged tissue and regenerate new tissue. This process starts with micro-needling of the scalp to enhance absorption. Then your plasma is applied directly to the scalp. The quick treatment is non-invasive and pain free.
If you suspect that you are suffering from alopecia, contact us at any of our offices or email us at [email protected] to schedule an appointment today.