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All About Alopecia - Signs & Treatments (Pharmaceutical & Natural)

Updated on January 4, 2015

What is Alopecia?

Alopecia is an autoimmune disease, which is when the immune system attacks its own body. When you have Alopecia your immune system accidentally damages your hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. This usually occurs on the scalp but can be lost on the body too.

For the most part, Alopecia is temporary and will grow back. It may grow back and fall out again, it may grow back and remain forever. Nothing is certain. Unfortunately at the moment there is no cure for Alopecia, but there are effective treatments to help you.

Here we are going to focus on Alopecia Areata, as it is the most common.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Hair falls out in clumps.
  • Bald patches.
  • A tingling sensation or even pain in the affected area.
  • "Exclamation point" hairs. These are short stubs of hair that have broken off, and/or are growing back.
  • Fingernails and toenails may have "pitting" (small dents/pin pricks).

Treatments

  • Corticosteroids

This medicine is the most common treatment for Alopecia. If the case is mild, then a cream will be prescribed for the bald patch. It comes in pills or injections too. What Corticosteroid does is it suppressed the immune system.


  • Minoxidil

This is a re-growth solution to apply to the areas affected by hair loss.


  • Anthralin

This is known as "short contact therapy" as it only remains on your skin for 30-60 minutes before being washed off to avoid skin irritation. This thick substance changes your skin's own immune system.


  • Diphencyprone

Now, this medicine is quite unique. What it does is it intentionally causes a small allergic reaction when applied to the bald patch, which is supposed to fool the immune system. Then the immune system will send white blood cells to the scalp to heal it. This treatment process can take up to three months.

Natural Remedies

Natural home remedies for Alopecia include:

  • Fenugreek

Fenugreek stimulates hormones in a way that help to rebuild hair follicles damaged by Alopecia. Multiple proteins and organic compounds present in Fenugreek seeds also help to regrow hair and improve the defence mechanism in your scalp.

  • Lavender

This essential oil can decrease the speed in which Alopecia develops, and even reverse the process altogether. After diluting in either coconut or almond oil, rub into the area of baldness. This will stimulate the blood flow to the scalp, helping the hair follicles grow again.


  • High-Silicon Vegetables

Potatoes, peppers, and cucumbers are commonly used to fight hair loss because of the high silicon content in their skins. Silicon is found to strengthen both hair and nails, making your body less vulnerable to Alopecia. Massage the bald patches with the skin of these vegetables multiple times a day for full effect.


  • Aloe Vera

This plant is known for increasing blood circulation to any area of the body, but is especially effective in terms of boosting scalp recovery. You can apply Aloe Vera to your scalp, and as a bonus, gain extra health benefits when absorbed into the skin.


  • Green Tea

The saponins and antioxidants in green tea are great for stimulating the reconstruction of healthy cells, and eliminating the toxins beneath the scalp which could be triggering your hair loss.

Other kinds of Alopecia


  • Alopecia Areatas

Hair loss in patches anywhere on the body.


  • Alopecia Totalis

Complete loss of all hair on the scalp.


  • Alopecia Universalis

Complete loss of all hair on the body.


  • Alopecia Barbae

(Male) Loss of facial hair, most noticeable in the beard.


  • Androgenetic Alopecia

AKA Male Pattern Baldness. This is severe thinning of the hair and can occur in both males and females.


  • Scarring Alopecia

This type of Alopecia scars leaving scale-like patches.

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