Who Gets Alopecia?
Anyone can have alopecia. It often begins in childhood. There is a slightly increased risk of having the disease if you have a close family member with the disease.
What Causes Alopecia?
Alopecia is an autoimmune disease. Normally the immune system protects the body against infection and disease. In an autoimmune disease, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks some part of your own body. In alopecia areata, the immune system attacks the hair follicles.
The cause is not known. Scientists think that a person’s genes may play a role. For people whose genes put them at risk for the disease, some type of trigger starts the attack on the hair follicles. The triggers may be a virus or something in the person’s environment.
Will The Hair Ever Grow Back?
There is every chance that the hair will grow back, but it may fall out again. No one can tell when it might fall out or grow back. Someone may lose more hair, or their hair loss may stop. The hair that is lost may or may not grow back. Even a person who has lost all of his hair may grow all of his hair back. The disease varies from person to person.
How Is Alopecia Treated?
There is no known cure for alopecia. There are no drugs approved to treat it. Doctors may use medicines approved for other diseases to help hair grow back.
However, none of these treatments prevent new patches of hair loss or cure the disease. Talk to your doctor about the treatment that is best for you.
How Will Alopecia Affect My Life?
Alopecia does not make you feel pain and does not make you feel sick. You can’t give it to others. People who have the disease are, for the most part, healthy in other ways. Alopecia areata will not shorten your life, and it should not affect activities such as going to school, working, marrying, raising a family, playing sports, and exercising.
How to Cope With the Effects of Alopecia
Living with hair loss can be hard. There are many things you can do to cope with the effects, including:
-Learning as much as you can about Alopecia.
-Talking with others who are dealing with Alopecia like Childrens Alopecia Project (ps they all aren't children. It's really awesome)
-Learning to value yourself for who you are, not for how much hair you have or don’t have.
-Talking with a counselor, if necessary, to help build a positive self-image.