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What Is Alopecia?

Updated on October 22, 2017

Male Pattern Baldness

Exploring Alopecia

Alopecia is an anutoimmune disease that can happen to anyone at any time, children as young as 2 years old have been diagnosed with alopecia. But what is alopecia and why does it occur, seemingly at random in some people. Well probably the best known alopecia is male pattern baldness, this is also known as androgenetic alopecia and this type of alopecia relates to hair loss,mainly in men that causes hair thinning.

Men come to expect as they grow older that they will experience a certain amount of hair loss but we mustn't forget that even though its seen as uncommon it can still be distressing for the individual.

Alopecia is thought to be an autoimmune disease where the body stops recognising the hair follicles and starts to fight against them just in the same way as someone who has had a liver transplant that rejects itself, the body is seeing its own hair follicles as a foreign object. There are many ways of boosting the bodes ability to regulate itself however and for someone suffering with alopecia this would be the first step to take to make sure they give themselves the best chance of taking steps to ensure they are doing all the right things to encourage hair growth.

There are a bazillion claims to cure and remedy alopecia on line, some work fairly well others not at all and are literally profiting from your circumstances so be doubly sure before you buy into anything, arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible before you decide to take any treatment options, read, read and read some more. Often times you will find conflicting advice and one of the best ways to find options that work is to check out forums and listen to those who have lived with the condition for a number of years.

There are things you can do to help yourself, as I mentioned earlier, boosting your immune system is one of them. In the meantime, and if you have tried all options you are prepared to then some people choose to go down the path of wigs and hair enhancing systems, and this can work for them but these tend to be costly.

If you are in the UK you will be able to get help funding some of these treatments so it's worth looking into, but again please research the downsides and weigh up the pros and cons. Wigs can be uncomfortable and are not always the best fit, they can itch and overheat the scalp, and then there is the nightmare senarieo where for one reason to another they come off in public ( My daughter has alopecia and has lost all of her scalp hair, one child when out playing decided to ride his bike close to her and as he passed her he ripped off her wig, naturally she was mortified )

Self confidence clearly takes a battering when you are faced with a condition that affects the way you look so its important to get this addressed as soon as possible and to always keep on mind that there is not one of us living that is perfect. Even those whom you think are perfect lack will confidence in some ways. Remember our outer appearance changes with age, not one of us can escape that and if all you have to offer is what you show outwardly then you are going to have issues when the ageing process as it inevitably will catches up with you.

Be positive learn to accept your alopecia as a part of what makes you 'you', and be glad that at the very least you know that the people you consider friends and family love you for 'you' not for what your hair, skin colour, sexuality or any other aspect of your personality is. Know that although you dislike the condition now in the long run it will give you all the right attributes to be a stronger person, suffering with your own condition will make you more compassionate to those around you who have something different about them too.

Why not use your alopecia as a talking point with others? let them know how you feel about it, why its happened and how it can affect your self confiance at time. There are going to be people out there who take that message in and repeat it, you are effectively giving them the knowledge and education about the condition to go on and educate others.

My daughter has had more than one occasion where she has been asked by other children if she has cancer for example, she has learned to explain what alopecia is to them, so now in later life they have a better understanding.

One a last note here, try and stop worrying ( easier said than done I know ) that's not just advice on a basic level it's an important thing to address for anyone suffering from any autoimmune disease, worry causes stress, stress lowers your immunity, so the more you worry about your hair loss the more counter productive it is for your hair growing back.


Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata

Other types of alopecia include alopecia areata, this type of alopecia can strike men and women equally at ant age and results in sporadic patches of hair loss where the individual is left with completely bald patches over their head, it can be mild where just one patch is lost but it can be sever where many patches begin to fall out and join up on the scalp.

Other Types On Alopecia

Alopecia Totalis, this is where all body hair is lost including eyebrows and eyelashes.

Alopecia Barbae this is a male type of alopecia where facial hair is lost.

Alopecia Mucinosa this causes patchy alopecia in the same was areata but leaves with it a scaly patch on the skin.

Anagen Effluvim this type of alopecia is bought about by chemicals most commonly those used in the treatment of cancer.

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