Have you been losing hair off and on?
Do you see dime or quarter-sized bare patches here and there?
Does the hair grow back sometimes?
Check with your trichologist, and you may just find out that that you have alopecia areata.
Like the National Center for Biotechnology Information explains, alopecia areata is a medical condition that causes you to lose hair. This condition is not communicable nor is it life-threatening. Both men and women can develop this form of hair loss that is typically caused by the body’s immune system attacking the hair follicles. As a result, the follicles stop producing hair and you soon see the hair falling out quickly.
Alopecia Areata is a Common Genetic Response
According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, close to 6.8 million Americans may develop this problem where their hair starts to fall out in patches. The interesting factor about this condition is that it is triggered by genetic responses in the body. And, will not affect your day-to-day living or quality of life in any way. Aside from the scalp, people who suffer from alopecia can see hair loss in other areas of the body also. Like, for instance, in the beard. Further, each person has a unique form of alopecia areata and shows differing symptoms. Some people start to regrow the hair after a few months while others may see the bald patches for a more prolonged time interval.
Dealing with Alopecia Areata
Given that alopecia areata is a genetic condition, there is no cure for it. But, your trichologist may recommend some treatment options to help you. Here are the most common options you can try.
1. PRP for Hair Loss
PRP is the acronym for Platelet Rich Plasma, a serum that doctors extract from a small sample of your blood. This serum is a concentration of healing elements including platelets, mesenchymal stem cells, cytokines, and growth factors. Together, these elements rejuvenate the dormant hair follicles and stimulate them to begin growing hair again. The healing serum can also promote the development of new blood vessels in the scalp that bring fresh oxygen and nutrients to nourish the follicles.
The best positive about the PRP Injection MD hair loss treatment is that there is a very rare possibility of side effects or allergic reactions. That’s because the serum is derived from your blood and the body recognizes its own tissues. You should be able to see results in about 6 to 8 weeks, and the effects can last anywhere from 6 to 12 months or more depending on your body’s healing abilities.
2. Rogaine Available Under the Brand Name Minoxidil
Like the American Academy of Dermatology advises, Minoxidil is a common over-the-counter treatment for hair loss. Available in the form of a lotion or foam, you can apply it on your scalp twice a day to promote the growth of hair. Both men and women can use this option, but the effects typically last only as long as you continue with the treatment. And, since the components of Minoxidil can seep into your bloodstream, with regular usage, you can expect side effects.
3. Propecia Available Under the Brand Name Finasteride
Another over-the-counter hair loss medication, Finasteride is suitable only for men. It is a highly potent drug, and expectant mothers are warned not to even touch the tablet or they could lose the pregnancy. This treatment option for alopecia areata comes with a host of side effects and works only as long as you take the medication.
Your trichologist may recommend that you try some form of corticosteroids to help with the hair loss. You can take these drugs in pill form or opt for topical applications like foams, creams, and lotions. You can also get shots of steroids every 3 to 6 weeks, and expect to see results at 4 weeks after the final shot. Corticosteroids stimulate hair growth by suppressing the auto-immune response of the body but can take a long while to work in the pill form. Though, taking the drugs can also have adverse effects so doctors typically prescribe the topical applications or shots.
5. Stress Relieving Techniques
For many people, the prospect of losing hair causes severe emotional disturbance and stress that seems to make the problem worse. Check out this article on WebMD that advises you to let go of the stress and anxiety so you can regain a full head of hair. In addition to yoga, meditation, or aromatherapy, you can consider joining support groups specially created for people dealing with alopecia areata. Do keep in mind that stress can create a vicious cycle of hair loss that can seem impossible to break since stress can act as both the cause and effect of hair loss.
6. Natural Hair Growth Options
Read this feature on Medical News Today and you will learn that there are several natural remedies that can possibly help you reverse the hair loss caused by alopecia areata. Consider eating a healthy diet that includes foods that remove inflammation in the body and nourish it with vitamins and minerals. Massage your scalp with warm oils like rosemary, coconut, almond, and lavender to stimulate hair growth. You could also try applying garlic or onion juice on your scalp. While these treatments may or may not work, you can rest assured that they will not harm your body.
Alopecia areata can seem like a scary problem and people going through it often face serious loss of self-esteem. Thankfully, science now has answers and treatments for you to try. Even as you go in for treatments for the condition, you may want to reach out to other people going through the same problem. Doctors also recommend that you wear wigs and scarves while your body works to heal itself. Try to rely more on natural treatments that can give you the results you’re looking for without causing any harm to your body. And, you might just be able to beat the condition successfully.