FAQs

How To Treat Alopecia? All Your Questions Answered for Alopecia Areata

How To Treat Alopecia? Alopecia Areata FAQs
How To Treat Alopecia? Alopecia Areata FAQs

1How to treat alopecia areata naturally?

As Alopecia areata is considered to be an autoimmune disease, sometimes people prefer natural treatments that support in improving the immunity of the body and fix nutrient deficiencies. There are many natural remedies that will help to boost the immune system and prevent hair loss. They are

  • Applying UV light to the skin
  • Trying out different stress management techniques (that means performing activities that give more happiness or enjoyment, taking a break from hectic work and so on) to reduce stress and improve mental health
  • People can take probiotic supplements like Yogurt, Pickles, apple cider vinegar to improve the immune system. Probiotics are good bacteria that helps to keep the gut healthy
  • Taking foods rich in zinc like pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, cashews also helps to improve the immunity
  • Certain flavonoid antioxidant like Quercetin has strong effects on immunity and it also helps in stimulating hair regrowth
  • Rosemary oil, Ginseng (a famous herbal medicine), lavender oils are other forms of natural treatments that are used to enhance hair thickness and growth

2What is the best treatment for alopecia?

Treatments are typically decided considering the extent of hair loss and the individual’s age. Though treatments are expected to revitalize hair growth there is no clear evidence to indicate that such treatments can influence the natural course of alopecia areata. The efficacy of every treatment varies from individual to individual. For some people, treatment may not be needed since their hair grows back automatically on its own. In few other cases, people never get to see an improvement despite trying different treatments.

The treatment includes both steroids (common therapies like steroid injections) as well as self-care. In few cases, photochemotherapy is recommended to promote hair growth. This is a type of radiation treatment. It uses a combination of oral medication and ultraviolet light.

3How to treat alopecia areata at home?

There are many natural remedies that can be tried at home that will help to boost the immune system and prevent hair loss. Some of them are

  • Applying onion juice on the scalp – they increase the regrowth of hair in the bald patches
  • To mix garlic juice with coconut oil, apply on the scalp, and massage
  • To place a cotton cloth dipped in cooled green tea on the scalp
  • The Chinese hibiscus or hibiscus rosa-sinensis is considered to be a flowery herbal remedy to boost hair growth and control hair fall
  • Regular use of almond oil will reduce dandruff and split ends and it will help to control hair fall
  • Honey, if used regularly for a longer period, can minimize hair fall
  • To massage the scalp with coconut milk – this stimulates the hair follicles and increases hair growth
  • Rosemary oil, lavender oil, Mustard oil, Licorice Root are other forms of treatments to enhance hair thickness and growth

4What are the symptoms of alopecia areata?

  • The main symptom of alopecia areata is hair loss
  • Some of the other symptoms are itching, anxiety, or small dents in nails
  • It leads to hair fall out in small, random patches
  • The hair loss can be sudden, might get developed in just a few days or over a period of a few weeks
  • There may be itching or burning in the area before the hair loss
  • The hair loss typically affects the scalp
  • These kind of patches are usually around few centimeters or so in size resulting in circular bald patches
  • Other parts of the body might also experience hair loss due to alopecia areata
  • Alopecia areata can also affect the fingernails and toenails
  • Nails can become rough or lose their shine or it can become thin and split

5How to treat Alopecia?

Treatments are typically decided considering the extent of hair loss and the individual’s age. Though treatments are expected to revitalize hair growth there is no clear evidence to indicate that such treatments can influence the natural course of alopecia areata. The efficacy of every treatment varies from individual to individual. For some people, treatment may not be needed since their hair grows back automatically on its own. In few other cases, people never get to see an improvement despite trying different treatments.

The treatment includes both steroids (common therapies like steroid injections) as well as self-care. In few cases, photo chemotherapy is recommended to promote hair growth. This is a type of radiation treatment. It uses a combination of oral medication and ultraviolet light.

6How to stop alopecia areata from spreading?

There is no complete cure for alopecia areata. But this condition can be treated which might help future hair loss. Treatments are typically decided considering the extent of hair loss and the individual’s age. The efficacy of every treatment varies from individual to individual. For some people, treatment may not be needed since their hair grows back automatically on its own.

In few other cases, people never get to see an improvement despite trying different treatments. But without treatment, the disease can prove to be fatal. In any case, treatment needs to be started without much delay through proper advice from doctors.

7How to hide alopecia areata?

There are different ways to hide alopecia areata. Some of them are

  • To shave the head completely to hide baldness or thinning hair
  • To grow facial hair as bald men can look good with facial hair, and it will also take attention away from the hair on the head
  • To cover the head with a hat and this will hide baldness very effectively
  • To use a hairpiece made of real human hair that matches the hair color

8How long for hair to grow back?

Alopecia Areata occurs when the immune system affects hair follicles where hair growth begins. The damage to the follicle is not generally permanent. For most of the people, the condition gets resolved even without a treatment within a year, but sometimes hair loss is permanent.

If the hair loss is minimal and the treatment is started on time, then the hair re-growth is possible within one year. But with extensive hair loss, it is unlikely to recover hair growth.

9What causes alopecia areata?

The exact cause of alopecia areata is still not known clearly. Alopecia areata is believed to be an autoimmune disease, a disease arising from an abnormal immune response to a normal body part. The family history of autoimmune disorders like Type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis could also be a cause for Alopecia Areata.

This type of condition seldom results in complete hair loss but it can prevent hair from growing back. Even if the hair does grow back, it is possible for the hair to fall out again. Sometimes stress, illness, and childbirth can cause temporary hair loss. Even a low protein or calorie limited diet can also cause temporary hair loss.

10What are the causes of alopecia universalis?

Alopecia Universalis is the more advanced form of alopecia areata. This is more advanced than alopecia totalis. This type of alopecia results in hair loss across the entire scalp including the face. This includes eyebrows and eyelashes and the remaining parts of the body including pubic hair.

The exact cause of Alopecia Universalis is still not known. The most widely believed cause is that it is an autoimmune condition in which an individual’s immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles.

11Are people born with alopecia?

Normally alopecia describes hair loss where formerly there was hair growth. But there is various Congenital Hypotrichosis like Triangular Alopecia (also called as alopecia triangular), Congenital Atrichia and Congenital Aplasia where hair loss is usually apparent from birth. As genetics is considered as a factor, this gene defect can quickly develop in some fetus born to parents who do not have the condition.

12How long does it take for alopecia areata to go away?

Alopecia Areata often results in random hair loss. It results in few bald spots (about the size of a coin) on the scalp. The size of the bald spots and how long they last vary from individual to individual.

If the hair loss is minimal and the treatment is started on time, then the hair re-growth is possible within one year. But with extensive hair loss, it is unlikely to recover hair growth.

13Is onion juice good for alopecia areata?

Yes. Onion juice is an effective remedy for alopecia. Extract the onion juice and apply it to the scalp twice a day. This accelerates hair regrowth after two weeks. It improves blood circulation and provides the hair follicles with sufficient nourishment. As onion has anti-bacterial properties, it helps to protect from scalp infections that contribute to hair loss.

14Can acupuncture help alopecia areata?

Yes. Acupuncture helps in getting relief from alopecia areata. Acupuncture for Alopecia is an ancient method which helps in resolving the hair loss problem with more success rate. It has been found that acupuncture combined with the herbal formula Huoxue Shengfa is safe and powerful for reducing alopecia areata.

15Can hair grow back after alopecia areata?

Yes. It is possible. Alopecia Areata occurs when the immune system affects hair follicles where hair growth begins. The damage to the follicle is not generally permanent. For most of the people, the condition gets resolved even without a treatment within a year, but sometimes hair loss is permanent.

If the hair loss is minimal and the treatment is started on time, then the hair re-growth is possible within one year. But with extensive hair loss, it is unlikely to recover hair growth.

16Does biotin help alopecia areata?

Yes. Biotin, or Vitamin B7, is a water-soluble vitamin and it is part of vitamin B complex. It acts as a coenzyme in the human body which is needed for the metabolism of fatty acids, amino acids, and glucose. Taking biotin does help to thicken hair. It is also found that biotin deficiency is not very common but low levels might lead to hair loss.

17How to make onion juice for alopecia areata?

  • To grate an onion, then strain the pulp. To discard the pulp and to use only the juice
  • OR to use a juicer as it is one of the easiest methods
  • To avoid sensitivity, onion juice can be diluted with water

18What is new on the horizon for treatment of alopecia areata?

There are new drug treatment opportunities available based on the results of a genome-wide association study that leads to new approaches and methods in future clinical trials of alopecia areata.

Future treatment approaches include the use of drugs that

  • Block the NKGD-activating ligand
  • Halt activated T cells

19Is alopecia areata hereditary?

It is not still known clearly. But genetics could be a factor for alopecia areata, though it is not the only factor. It has been found that at least 20% of the affected people have a family history of alopecia areata. The family history of autoimmune disorders like Type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis could also be a cause for Alopecia Areata.

20How long does alopecia areata last?

Alopecia Areata often results in random hair loss. It results in few bald spots (about the size of a coin) on the scalp. The size of the bald spots and how long they last vary from individual to individual. If the hair loss is minimal and the treatment is started on time, then the hair re-growth is possible within one year. But with extensive hair loss, it is unlikely to recover hair growth.

21How does alopecia start?

Alopecia Areata occurs when the immune system affects hair follicles where hair growth begins. There is no clear answer yet on why and when the immune system attacks the follicles. Though there is no specific age, Alopecia areata is most common in young people and this condition can affect anyone regardless of their age or gender. Most importantly, women and men are equally affected.

22Is Alopecia a genetic disease?

It is not exactly sure. But genetics could be a factor for alopecia areata, though it is not the only factor. Based on the research, it is found that at least 20% of the people affected have a family history of alopecia areata. This indicates that genetic factors might contribute to the development of alopecia areata.

23How do you get alopecia areata?

Alopecia Areata occurs when the immune system affects hair follicles where hair growth begins. There is no clear answer yet on why and when the immune system attacks the follicles. Though there is no specific age, Alopecia areata is most common in young people and this condition can affect anyone regardless of their age or gender. Most importantly, women and men are equally affected.

24Is alopecia areata genetic?

It is not exactly sure. But genetics could be a factor for alopecia areata, though it is not the only factor. Based on the research, it is found that at least 20% of the people affected have a family history of alopecia areata. This indicates that genetic factors might contribute to the development of alopecia areata.

25Does hair transplant work for alopecia areata?

Hair transplant is generally not considered to be a viable option for individuals with alopecia areata. However, there is a number of treatment options available to explore based on the extent of hair loss and the individual’s age. The treatment includes both steroids as well as natural remedies.

26What type of doctor treats alopecia areata?

Generally, dermatologist treats alopecia areata. They are doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of problems related to skin, its structure, functions, and diseases, as well as its peripheral (nails, hair, sweat glands).

27Can smoking cause alopecia areata?

It is possible though there is no solid evidence yet for the same.The main substances found in cigarettes nicotine and carbon monoxide restrict the flow of blood and oxygen to the hair follicles. Hence the hair lacks nourishment and this leads to falling of hair from the scalp.

28Can you die from alopecia areata?

No. Alopecia Areata results in random hair loss. In the advanced stage, it could lead to hair loss across the entire scalp. But it will not lead to death. Alopecia areata is harmless to rest of the body besides causing hair fall.

29How do I know if I have alopecia areata?

The main symptom of alopecia areata is hair loss. Some of the other symptoms are itching anxiety or small dents in nails. It leads to hair fall out in small, random patches. These symptoms are the indication of alopecia areata.

30What type of doctor treats alopecia areata?

Generally, dermatologist treats alopecia areata. They are doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of problems related to skin, its structure, functions, and diseases, as well as its peripheral (nails, hair, sweat glands).

31Can hair dye cause alopecia areata?

Dyes are generally used for coloring the hair. Hair dye can damage the hair, but in most of the cases, it will not cause hair loss. But regular use of dyes might result in hair loss.

32Does Rogaine work for alopecia areata?

Rogaine is the brand name for topical minoxidil. Rogaine can help to stop the hair loss. Sometimes, it can even help regrow new hair.

33How fast does alopecia areata spread?

There is no definite period for that. Some will lose hair in 3 to 4 months. For some, it takes up to 1 year.For some, it even takes 5 years for the hair to completely fall out.

34What is alopecia areata?

Alopecia Areata is a type of hair loss. It often results in random hair loss. It occurs when the immune system affects hair follicles where hair growth begins. But the damage to the follicle is not generally permanent.

35Can you reverse alopecia?

Yes. It is possible.  But the treatment needs to be started with proper advice from the doctors before Alopecia Areata reaches the advanced stage.

 

36Is Alopecia Areata permanent?

Alopecia Areata occurs when the immune system affects hair follicles where hair growth begins. The damage to the follicle is not generally permanent. For most of the people, the condition gets resolved even without a treatment within a year, but sometimes hair loss is permanent.

37Can alopecia areata be caused by stress?

Different factors are considered to be the cause of alopecia areata. This includes severe stress (like physical stress or a surgery, an accident, or a severe illness) as well. Hence stress could be one of the reasons to trigger hair loss.

38Can alopecia areata be cured?

No. There is no complete cure for alopecia areata. But this condition can be treated which might help future hair loss.

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