Alopecia Areata (AA) is a disorder where hair is lost from the body, especially the scalp.
The actual cause for AA is not yet known but some possibilities are:
- Auto immune disorder
- Emotional stress
- Small bald patches, usually round or oval
- Slight pain in the affected area
- One side of the scalp or beard more affected than the other
- ‘Exclamation-mark’ hair which are tapering at the base near the roots, on the edges of the patch
There are no fool proof methods to treat AA but the following may be helpful in some cases:
- Observation: Mostly, hair grows back after a few months on its own so waiting for some time is advised in case of small patches.
- Steroids: They can be given in the form of injections, topical creams or tablets.
- Minoxidil Solution: This can be applied topically by itself or in combination with steroids.
- Topical immunotherapy: It uses irritants to divert the immune reaction of the body so that the hair can grow again.
- PUVA Therapy: The patient is given some light sensitive drugs and then the affected part is exposed to ultraviolet light.