What is alopecia areata?
- Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss that occurs when the immune system attacks hair follicles and arrests growth.
At what age can alopecia areata occur?
- This condition can occur at any age, and it can affect both men and women.
How does alopecia areata appear?
- Alopecia areata often manifests as small, round patches of hair loss on the scalp, but it can also affect hair growth on other parts of the body, such as the eyebrows, eyelashes, and beard.
What treatments are there for alopecia areata?
- At The MW Clinic London, we offer a range of treatments to address alopecia areata and promote hair growth. Our experienced doctors can assess the extent and type of hair loss and recommend the most suitable treatment based on the individual's needs and expectations.
What is the most effective treatment for alopecia areata?
- One of the most effective treatments for alopecia areata is corticosteroid injections. This treatment involves injecting a steroid solution directly into the affected area of the scalp to reduce inflammation and promote hair growth.
Are there other treatments for alopecia areata?
- In some cases, we may recommend topical corticosteroids or oral corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and stimulate hair growth. In more extensive hair loss and where injections and oral steroids have not helped, we are able to offer treatment with Baricitinib, the recently FDA-approved immunosuppressant medication for hair growth in this condition.
Do you offer PRP for alopecia areata?
- Another treatment option we offer is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. This therapy offers a drug-free approach and involves extracting a sample of the patient's own blood, processing it to concentrate the platelets and growth factors, and then injecting it into the scalp to promote hair growth.
Does PRP work for alopecia areata?
- A small number of studies have shown that PRP therapy may help hair growth in some patients with alopecia areata and may be a suitable option for those who are unable to take other medical treatments for this condition.
Who can I talk to about alopecia areata?
- Alopecia areata can result in significant emotional distress and anxiety. It is important to know that support is available and we very much encourage patients to reach out for this support if they feel overwhelmed by the experience. Support comes in many different forms ranging from chatting to friends and family, speaking to your GP, Dermatologist or Psychologist or joining specific support groups and charities such as Alopecia UK.
- To book a consultation with our expert dermatologist and trichologist, Dr Sharon Wong, please contact us here or book a consultation online here.
Please find below many of the most common other questions about male pattern balding asked by our clients, and answered by our expert hair specialist, Dr Sharon Wong.
Can a GP help with alopecia?
- A GP (General Practitioner) can assist with the initial diagnosis and management of alopecia. They may provide basic treatment options and refer individuals to dermatologists or specialists for further evaluation and specialized care if necessary.
What should be avoided in alopecia areata?
- In alopecia areata, it is advisable to avoid harsh hair treatments, excessive heat styling, tight hairstyles, and pulling or tugging on the hair. These actions can potentially aggravate the condition and cause further hair loss or damage to the affected areas.
How common is alopecia areata?
- Alopecia areata is relatively common and affects approximately 2% of the population at some point in their lifetime. It can occur in individuals of all ages and ethnicities.
What is the best treatment for alopecia?
- The best treatment for alopecia areata depends on the severity of the condition and patient factors. Treatment options may include topical corticosteroids, minoxidil, corticosteroid injections, PRP, immunotherapy, or systemic medications. A dermatologist or hair specialist can provide personalized recommendations based on the severity and characteristics of the condition.
Is alopecia an autoimmune deficiency?
- Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, leading to hair loss. However, it is not considered an autoimmune deficiency. The immune system is overactive in certain areas, resulting in the specific immune response against the hair follicles.
How long does alopecia areata last?
- The duration of alopecia areata episodes can vary. In some cases, spontaneous regrowth of hair may occur within months, while for others, the condition may persist for a longer period or become chronic. The course of alopecia areata is unpredictable, and individual experiences may differ.
Can alopecia areata hair grow back?
- In many cases, hair can regrow spontaneously in alopecia areata. However, the regrowth may not be permanent, and future episodes of hair loss can occur. It is important to seek appropriate treatment and regular follow-ups with a dermatologist to manage the condition effectively.
Can you go bald from alopecia areata?
- The extent of hair loss and regrowth patterns in alopecia areata can vary among individuals. In most cases localised patches of hair loss occur which are usually temporary and can improve spontaneously or with medical treatment. However, in some individuals the condition is more severe and can affect the entire scalp (alopecia totalis) and facial/body hair (alopecia universalis).
Is alopecia stress related?
- Stress can potentially trigger or exacerbate episodes of alopecia areata in some individuals, although it is not the sole cause of the condition. Emotional or physical stressors may play a role in triggering or worsening hair loss in susceptible individuals with a genetic predisposition to alopecia areata.
How quickly does alopecia areata progress?
- The progression of alopecia areata can vary widely among individuals. In some cases, hair loss may occur rapidly over a short period, while in others, it may progress more gradually. The course and severity of the condition are highly variable, and individual experiences may differ.
Does hair grow back thicker after alopecia?
- Hair regrowth after alopecia areata typically resembles the individual's pre-existing hair characteristics. In most cases, the regrown hair is similar in thickness, color, and texture to the person's original hair. However, exceptions may occur, and regrowth patterns can vary among individuals.
What are the triggers for alopecia areata?
- The exact triggers for alopecia areata are not fully understood, but they may involve genetic predisposition, immune system dysfunction, and various environmental factors. Triggers can include emotional stress, physical trauma, certain infections, and other autoimmune conditions.
How do you stop alopecia areata from spreading?
- In many cases of mild alopecia areata the hair can spontaneously regrow without treatment. However in more severe cases prompt medical attention can help minimize hair loss and potentially encourage regrowth.
Treatments may include topical corticosteroids, corticosteroid injections, PRP or oral medications prescribed by a dermatologist.
What vitamins are good for alopecia?
- Although there is no specific vitamin to help with alopecia areata, is important to screen for and treat any nutritional deficiencies to support healthy hair growth in general. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements to ensure they are suitable for your specific condition and overall health.
Can alopecia be caused by stress?
- While stress can potentially trigger or exacerbate episodes of alopecia areata, it is not the sole cause of the condition. Multiple factors, including genetic predisposition and immune system dysfunction, contribute to the development of alopecia areata. Stress may act as a trigger in susceptible individuals.
What is the fastest way to cure alopecia?
- There is no guaranteed fast cure for alopecia areata, as the condition's course can be unpredictable and vary among individuals. Treatment options may include topical medications, injections, or systemic therapies, but the effectiveness and speed of response can vary. Consulting with a dermatologist or hair specialist is recommended for personalized guidance.
What are the stages of alopecia areata?
- Alopecia areata does not have distinct stages like some other conditions. The condition is characterized by patchy hair loss, often in round or oval shapes. The affected areas may merge or spread, and regrowth can occur spontaneously. The course and pattern of alopecia areata can differ among individuals.
What is the trigger for alopecia areata?
- The exact trigger for alopecia areata is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic factors, immune system dysfunction, and environmental triggers. Emotional stress, physical trauma, certain infections, or other autoimmune conditions can potentially contribute to the development of alopecia areata.
How can I stop alopecia getting worse?
- To potentially prevent or minimise worsening of alopecia areata, early intervention and appropriate treatment are key. Consulting with a dermatologist or hair specialist can provide personalized recommendations, which may include topical corticosteroids, injections, immunotherapy, or oral medications. Prompt medical attention, especially if the condition is evolving rapidly is important to manage the condition effectively.
What foods should you avoid if you have alopecia areata?
- There are no specific foods that individuals with alopecia areata need to avoid. However, maintaining a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients is generally beneficial for overall hair health. It is advisable to focus on a nutritious and varied diet that supports optimal well-being.