Alopecia Areata, which is commonly referred to simply as alopecia, is a hair-loss condition that can affect both men and women. Usually only the hair on the scalp falls out, though, the hair elsewhere on the body, such as the face, eye lashes, and eye brows, can be affected too. Hair loss due to alopecia in those areas are not common.
True alopecia is relatively rare and is not the same as typical male pattern baldness or thinning hair from age. Alopecia affects only about 0.1% to 0.2% of the population at any given time and is most common among kids, teenagers and young adults, although it occasionally occurs in toddlers and older adults. Men and women are both equally likely to develop alopecia, which genetic or hereditary factors can play are part in your percentage of obtaining alopecia.
Dr. Susan Touma and her team of professional dermatologists at Huntington Dermatology will be able to determine if your hair loss is true alopecia or more common hair loss conditions that occur over time.
Symptoms of Alopecia
The most apparent symptom of alopecia is, naturally, hair loss. However, the condition usually causes distinctive, telltale symptoms such as:
- Bald Spots
- Soft Spots
- Tingling or Slight Pain
- Hair Loss Over Short Period of Time
- Pitted Toenails and/or Fingernails
Types of Alopecia
There are several different manifestations of alopecia. A few of the most common types of alopecia include:
- Alopecia Areata – The most common form of alopecia, and usually what people are referring to when they talk about alopecia. Involves patches of hair loss on the scalp.
- Diffuse Alopecia Areata – A uniform thinning of the hair on the scalp that arises out of the blue and within a very short time frame.
- Alopecia Totalis – The complete loss of hair on the scalp, resulting in total baldness.
- Alopecia Universalis – An extremely rare form of alopecia in which all of the hair on the head and body falls out.
- Alopecia Areata Barbe – Alopecia that is localized on a man’s beard.