Alopecia areata is an auto immune skin disease which results in unpredictable hair loss.
It is one of the most common causes of hair loss affecting 2% of the population and is mostly triggered by psychological stress and accidents, although genetics may be a factor.
The bodies own immune system attacks the follicle causing sudden smooth bald patch of hair loss the size of a 50p piece to appear one the scalp or other hair bareing areas of the body.
Alopecia areata usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth bald patches on the scalp. Regrowth will usually start to grow back at any time from a 6 - 9 months but can also take years and cannot be guaranteed. There is also a chance that the regrown hair could also fall out again or new patches appear. The severity of this skin disease varies from person to person, and can progress to total scalp hair loss (Alopecia Totalis) or complete body hair loss (Alopecia Universalis).
Is a variation of alopecia areata in which hair loss occurs in the beard area of men. It can occur around the mouth, chin, cheeks and neck.
Alopecia Universalis is an advanced form of Alopecia Areata. This results in complete hair loss of all their hair including eyebrows, eyelashes, facial hair and body hair.
The cause is unknown, and the hair may start to regrow on its own after a year or many years only 10% of patients hair fully recovers with treatment
Alopecia Totalis is an auto immune skin condition which causes total hair loss of the scalp. The bodies immune system attacks the hair follicle which causes inflammation and results in hair loss.
It begins as small patches like Alopecia Areata but the patches continue to form until the scalp is completely bald. The loss of hair can be occur rapidly and patients may also have brittle, pitted nails as an indicating factor.
Due to the unpredictable nature of this condition, hair may grow back with treatment but after 2 years it is unlikely to grow back.
Post Natal Alopecia
Post-Natal Alopecia is a form of Telogen Effluvium, which is a diffuse alopecia following a triggering event, such as surgery, childbirth, emotional stress, hormonal fluctuations, or medication use.
Typically, Post Natal Alopecia occurs two to five months after childbirth and affects approximately 40-50% of females following childbirth.
During pregnancy, females experience high oestrogen hormone levels, causing hair, which usually sheds at approximately 100 - 150 hairs a day, to be dramatically reduced.
The combination of less shedding hairs and increased hair growth, due to the high oestrogen levels during pregnancy, results in hair which is thicker, fuller and more lustrous.
Following childbirth, oestrogen levels plummet, resulting in an increased level of testosterone. This acts as a trigger, causing the hair to restart the telogen phase at an increased rate.
The hair starts a gradual thinning process as the hair loss occurs. However, some patients may experience more prominent hair loss in
the form of bald spots.
The rate of Post Natal Depression hair loss can be increased from mild to severe, or extended if the patient is suffering from Postpartum Depression. The can be caused by the fluctuation of hormone levels during childbirth. However, Postpartum Depression can be caused by the effects of Post Natal Depression. The stress and effects of the hair loss can make the condition worse, locking the patient into a cycle.