Treatments for Alopecia Areata
Posted: Aug 24, 2015
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss in round patches either on the scalp or anywhere else on the body. This means that the body attacks its own hair follicles (the structures that contain the hair roots).
If you have been wondering whether this is your case, keep in mind that the most common territory for hair loss is the scalp and that the hair loss patches can vary in size. Similarly, eyelashes, eyebrows, beard and any hair-bearing part can be also affected. In some cases, the hair loss can be widespread and some people may go bold or lose the whole hair on their body.
Furthermore, pay attention to your nails, because nail problems are another symptom of alopecia areata. If your nails seem to have any pinpoint dents, white spots or lines, have become thin and split or have lost their shine, then you should know that nail changes are often the first sign of alopecia areata.
However, bear in mind that in all forms of alopecia areata, the hair follicles are still alive and will produce hair normally whenever they receive the appropriate signal from your body. Also, do not forget that hair regrowth may occur even without treatment or after many years of treatment.
Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed for autoimmune diseases. They can be either injected into the hairless places or applied topically to the skin as ointment, foam or cream to the bare spots. Patients receive injections every 3 to 6 weeks and hair usually starts to grow a month after the last shot has been received. When compared to topical corticosteroids, injections are more effective, while topical application is considered as the best Alopecia Areata treatment for children.
Minoxidil is usually taken for patterned baldness and it is a hair re-growth medicine which can be used by both children and adults. To get the best of it, apply it twice a day on bald spots. Usually, it takes around 3 months of using it before hair can start to grow again. Minoxidil 5% seems to be one of the most effective Alopecia Areata treatment. No matter the extent of the bald area you should not apply more than 25 drops twice a day.
Diphencyprone is applied to hairless skin and the result of it is a small allergic reaction which manifests with redness, itching and swelling. Despite this small side effect, dermatologists believe that this is a small price to pay for the positive outcome. The allergic reaction tricks the immune system and makes it send white blood cells to the skin surface. This fights the inflammation and does not allow the follicles to go to sleep which is actually the main reason for hair loss.
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