Alopecia Areata is a condition in which there is patchy loss of hair from any part of the head and in fact anywhere in the body. Alopecia Areata often starts as an infection with itching, irritation and dandruff. However the danger is the ability of it to spread like a wild fire through forest. Alopecia Areata can almost overnight develop into 2-3 patches, spread to the body and leading to hair loss from all over. The disease can be broken up into four stages.
Stage 1 – Stage of solitary patch – This is the best stage to treat and when dealt adequately most cases respond very well allowing almost 100% re growth.
Stage 2- Stage of multiple patches – This is the next stage where 3-4 patches co-exist. While recovery is still possible from this stage, the chances of full recovery start progressively decreasing from this stage onwards.
Stage 3- Stage of body hair loss – Along with hair loss from the first affected part, which is most often the head, there is considerable hair loss from body parts as well, like beard and moustache in men, eyebrows in women, arms and legs etc.
Stage 4- Stage of complete hair loss – This is the last stage and often known as Alopecia Totalis because of total loss of hair from all over the body, including the underarms and the private areas.
Treatment of Alopecia Areata depends on the type and cause. The condition can run an erratic course with frequent recurrences and remissions. It can have a sudden onset starting with a single patch, overnight multiplying into multiple patches and can spread like wild fire leading to hair loss from all over body. Alopecia Areata in stages one and two shows the best response and as it spreads to the other parts of the body the chances of effective control come down.
Dr Shahid Shamsher is a leading Trichologist certified from UK, Australia & India. Practicing since 27 years in the field of Trichology, even today he consults every patient personally himself rather than leave it to assistants. He can be reached on 080 42067474 / 75.