Guide to Alopecia Areata
Guide to Alopecia Areata
Read Time: 7 Min
What is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes patchy hair loss and hair thinning. With this condition, you might experience only small hair loss spots, or they might connect, causing more noticeable hair loss over time.
Alopecia Areata Causes
Alopecia areata is caused when the body attacks healthy cells because it thinks they are foreign invaders. This autoimmune response in particular, attacks your hair follicles, causing hair loss.
What Triggers Alopecia Areata?
While researchers are still trying to discover what triggers this condition, they have found that some have a higher likelihood of experiencing alopecia areata if they have close relatives with the condition, have a thyroid disorder, or asthma.
Alopecia Areata Symptoms
The most common symptom of alopecia areata is hair loss, typically starting with small patches of balding and growing over time into larger patches. You might also experience full balding or hair loss on your entire body.
There are four types of hair loss associated with alopecia areata:
- Alopecia areata totalis: This condition causes complete baldness
- Diffuse alopecia areata: This condition causes hair shedding and thinning instead of hair loss.
- Ophiasis alopecia areata: This condition creates a band shape of hair loss
- Alopecia areata universalis: This condition causes hair loss from your whole body.
Along with different types of hair loss, you might also experience brittle nails and itching on your scalp.
Alopecia Areata Treatment
Since the cause of alopecia areata is still unknown, there are no current ways to prevent this condition, however you can treat the symptoms of hair loss with hair restoration therapies. Some of the most popular treatment options for alopecia areata include:
Medical Treatments for Alopecia Areata
- Topical Immunotherapy: Chemicals are used to create an allergic reaction on the scalp, which actually helps encourage hair growth.
- Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are injections and topical treatments used to treat autoimmune disorders.
- Minoxidil: Minoxidil (Rogaine) is a topical treatment used to help restore hair growth.
Does Alopecia Areata Go Away?
Alopecia areata can go away and your hair can grow back on its own. However, sometimes the hair does not return without a little help and more intervention might be needed to restore hair growth.
At-Home Remedies for Alopecia Areata
If you need more support to grow back your hair from alopecia areata, then you can try at-home hair restoration therapy methods. Alopecia areata can be hard to treat, but you can grow back your hair with the right hair loss remedies.
Low-Level Laser Therapy
LLLT or low-level laser therapy is an at-home hair loss treatment that is easy and discreet to use. You just simply wear a laser cap a few times per week and the laser lights help produce hair growth at a cellular level. With this treatment, you can see hair growth in about 4-6 months of use. At illumiflow, all of our laser caps have been FDA cleared and are designed for maximum scalp coverage.
Hair Loss Supplements
Hair growth vitamins are another great way to restore hair loss at home. Hair growth supplements include vitamins and herbs that help support healthy hair and give your body vital nutrients to support cell growth. Some vitamins to consider adding to your hair growth routine are:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
While these vitamins help support hair growth there are also a few other vitamins and herbs you can use to restore your hair loss like green tea, stinging nettle root, saw palmetto, GLA, and horsetail rush herb. If you are interested in trying out hair growth supplements, check out illumiflow's Follicle FX.
You can try to reduce inflammation with an anti-inflammatory diet which reduces inflammatory foods while increasing the consumption of healthy whole foods.
Foods to avoid for inflammation:
- Red meat
- Trans fats
- Fried foods
- High fat dairy
While there are a few foods to avoid, there are also lots of tasty foods you can enjoy on an anti-inflammatory diet. Fill your plate with tasty fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, and legumes. It is worth noting that abrupt changes in diet, like perhaps changing to a vegan diet, can lead to initial hair loss but it is able to be overcome.
While alopecia areata can be incredibly hard to deal with, the good news is that this condition is not permanent. With changes in your diet, support from your doctor, and hair growth therapies like LLLT, you can restore your hair loss and enjoy healthy hair once again.
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