In the second part of this series, Trichologist Dr Shahid Shamsher writes about Alopecia Areata.

What makes Alopecia Areata so dangerous?

The danger is the ability of it to spread like a wild fire through forest. Often it starts of as one patch, which can almost over night 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.

To illustrate the rapidity of this disease let me tell you of interesting case I saw few years back. This is a case of a young lady, around the age of 18, living in rural Karnataka. Typically the problem started for her with a single patch and then every time she either washed or combed her hair a bunch of hair of 1000-2000 hair simply came out, almost as if the hair was only glued to the scalp and glue was wearing off now. Within 3 months, from having nearly waist long hair, she ended up having not a single hair in any part of her body left. That’s how violent this condition can be. Fortunately however most cases are not that dangerous, but the ability of this disease to spread, and to recur even whist on treatment or anytime after it has been treated, remains unmatched by any other hair disorder. 

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.

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