Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes circular patches of hair loss. It’s caused by the body’s immune system incorrectly identifying the hair follicles as a foreign body and attacking them.
For most people, alopecia areata begins as quarter-sized patches of hair loss on the head. Although it may initially affect a small region of the scalp, alopecia areata can spread rapidly. Some have drawn parallels between alopecia areata and vitiligo, an autoimmune disorder in which the body mistakenly targets melanin-producing cells, resulting in white patches on the skin.
Here’s what you should know about how this patchy hair loss condition may develop in women.
What Is the Cause of Alopecia Areata in Women?
It is unclear what triggers the immune system to assault hair follicles, but scientists suspect a combination of hereditary and environmental variables.
It has been hypothesized, however, that estrogen hormones have a role in alopecia areata. Studies on immune cells reveal that they might become more active after being exposed to estrogen.
Estrogen is a hormone found predominantly in females that is primarily responsible for the development of female sexual traits. As a woman goes through her menstrual cycle and into menopause, her estrogen levels naturally rise and fall.
In the same way that estrogen fluctuations can cause alterations in immune cell activity, they may also impact the occurrence of alopecia areata.
Is Treatment Available for Alopecia Areata?
When deciding on a course of treatment for alopecia areata, your dermatologist will take a number of things into account, including your age, the extent of your hair loss, and the location of your hair loss. Since no singular treatment works for everyone, you may be required to try a few treatments before you discover the right one for you.
Prescription-strength corticosteroids and/or minoxidil may help regenerate and retain hair and are common treatment options for children ten and younger.
If you are older than ten years and have patchy hair loss due to alopecia areata, you may benefit from corticosteroid injections in addition to the treatments suggested above. Injections of corticosteroids help your hair regrow and are considered the most effective treatment for people who have a few patches of hair loss.
Explore Treatments for Hair Loss in Plantation, FL
Plantation Dermatology, previously known as Altman Dermatology, provides cutting-edge medical and cosmetic dermatological care with the most advanced technology in both non-invasive and surgical procedures.
To explore hair loss treatment in Plantation, FL, with Plantation Dermatology, schedule an appointment today by calling (954) 577-5161.