Alopecia areata is characterized by a localized area of complete hair loss (Figure 5). This may extend to the entire scalp (alopecia totalis) or the entire body (alopecia universalis)12,13 (Figure 6). Alopecia areata is probably secondary to an autoimmune reaction involving antibody, T-cell, and cytokine-mediated losses.14–16 The trait appears to be polygenic, affecting 0.1 to 0.2 percent of the population, with men and women equally affected.14 On microscopic evaluation, “exclamation-point” hairs are found, in which the proximal hair shaft has thinned but the distal portion remains of normal caliber (Figure 7). Spontaneous recovery usually occurs within six to 12 months, with hair in areas of re-growth often being pigmented differently.1,13 Prognosis is not as good if the condition persists longer than one year, worsens, or begins before puberty. Persons with a family history of the disorder, atopy, or Down syndrome also have a poorer prognosis.1 The recurrence rate is 30 percent, and recurrence usually affects the initial area of involvement.12 Thyroid abnormalities, vitiligo, and pernicious anemia frequently accompany alopecia areata.1,12,14
The follicles on the sides of the scalp are more genetically resistant to DHT, which is why male pattern baldness often results in a “crown” of hair. But its downsides are serious. “With women, finasteride is not an option,” says Dr. Wolfeld. “It’s not FDA-approved for women to take, so we don’t prescribe it.” In fact, due to the drug’s effect on hormone levels, pregnant women are advised to not even touch broken or crushed tablets.
I’ve had a small bald patch in my part since I was a teenager..I used to think it was a scar from a bad scrap I got once. I recently cut my hair rather short and donated it and have since noticed alot more hairs falling out. Part of me thinks I notice simply because now they land on my shirt and before they always just fell off. I’m just worried that it could be baldness, because God love him my Dad has been going bald since he was like 19. I’m 20, have had a kid and hypo-thyroidism runs in my mother’s family. I don’t want to go bald, I’m terrified of it actually and was just wondering who the best person to go to, to figure out if this is just a scar or if I’m really going bald. Anyone have any suggestions?
There are many different potential causes of alopecia. Hair loss - temporary or permanent - can be triggered by any number of factors. These can include allergies, irritants, toxins, burns, injuries, and infections. We also know that certain medications (especially anabolic steroids), chronic kidney failure, radiation, and chemotherapy can cause hair to fall out. Sometimes, hair loss may be due to a vitamin A overdose, iron deficiency anemia, a malfunctioning thyroid gland, fever, hormonal imbalances, or pregnancy.
I’m going to see an endocrinologist, a trichologist, a hematologist and a gastroenterologist and maybe this Dr. Redmond. I’m done with ‘hair loss experts’ pushing cosmetic surgery and trying the all around approach. My insurance is crap, but….Anyway, thanks all for your stories and knowing I’m not alone in hair loss and the fight against disinterested medical establishment. xxx
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