Alopecia Areata: Symptoms, Causes & Natural Treatments

Hair loss affects people all over the world, and while most people see it as a natural part of aging, there are actually medical reasons behind excessive hair loss. Although there are many different medical conditions that can result in hair loss, one of the most common afflictions is called alopecia areata.

Alopecia areata afflicts millions of people around the world, but it is often not diagnosed because it initially appears as simple bald spots on the scalp. For this reason, it is often referred to as spot baldness, and it resembles the natural loss of hair as people age. However, alopecia areata can develop into two different forms of the disease as well, if left untreated, called alopecia totalis (where the entire scalp becomes bald) or alopecia universalis (where all the hair on your entire body is lost).

Alopecia areata is often associated with thyroid disorders, because the hormonal balance in the body is key to stimulating or shutting off hair follicles, and thyroid disorders throw your hormonal balance out the window! Since the condition can get worse in no time, it is very important to treat it before it gets out of hand. Sometimes, psychological or situational factors can cause small flare-ups of alopecia and hair loss.Although, most of the times, they automatically regress and the hair grows back.

What is alopecia areata?

Alopecia areata is a hair-loss related condition in which hair typically falls out in round patches. The word ‘alopecia’ refers to hair loss; alopecia areata is sometimes called autoimmune alopecia. It is one of the several different types of autoimmune diseases. Normally, immune system attacks the ‘intruding’ matter in your body, such as the cold virus; autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system attacks healthy cells.

Is Alopecia genetic?

There are different types of alopecia (hair loss), which have different underlying causes. Alopecia areata, an autoimmune For example, sometimes specific environmental factors are needed for a gene to be expressed.

Symptoms of Alopecia Areata

Some of the most common symptoms of alopecia areata are as follows:

  • Tingling where the hair has been lost.
  • Uneven loss of hair, usually on one side of the scalp, happening over a short period of time.
  • Healthy hair near the bald patches can be pulled out easily.
  • Your fingernails may develop pitting.

Hair narrows as it gets closer to the scalp, resulting in an “exclamation point” appearance.

 Causes

Alopecia areata is considered an autoimmune disease. Such diseases occur when the body’s immune system acts on itself. In otherwise healthy individuals’ bodies, the immune system acts by attacking ‘intruders’ or foreign materials that enter the body, to protect the body against infection. In alopecia areata, the immune system mistakes healthy parts of its own body for foreign, damaging materials, and attacks the hair follicles.

Hair follicles are cavities from where the hair grows. When the immune system attacks them, they reduce in size and then gradually stop producing any new hair. This is what leads to hair loss.

The precise cause of the condition is still unknown because scientists are unable to figure out why the immune system attacks the hair follicles.However, it’s been discovered that it generally occurs in people with a family history of autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, etc. This is also the reason why some scientists believe genetics plays a role in alopecia areata. Having said that, environmental factors also play a big role in triggering alopecia areata in people who are genetically prone to the disease.

Medical Treatments

The word ‘alopecia’ means hair loss. There are several different types of alopecia, for example, male and female pattern baldness, and alopecia areata. These examples have different underlying causes; male and female pattern baldness is typically hormone-related, whilst alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease. The different underlying causes have implications for treatment. While there are certain drugs that can be used to stimulate hair growth, the efficacy of such drugs will depend on many things, including the underlying cause of hairloss.

Corticosteroids: Corticosteroid is the most commonly used drug for alopecia induced hair loss treatment. It can be taken in various forms, i.e., injections, tablets, solutions, lotions, ointments, etc. There are mainly three types of corticosteroids, they are intralesional corticosteroids, topical corticosteroids and oral corticosteroids. Among the three, oral corticosteroids have the highest number of side effects and are therefore only rarely prescribed by the doctors.

Anthralin: Anthralin is famously used for the treatment of psoriasis, but it is also recommended by dermatologists for the treatment of alopecia areata. If it works, the result can be seen within 8 to 12 weeks of its application. Side-effect of using anthralin are skin rashes and browning of the area where it is applied.

Minoxidil: Minoxidil promotes hair growth by directly having an effect on the hair follicles. It is often used in combination with corticosteroid treatments as this combination treatment has a more powerful impact on hair growth.Minoxidil has reportedly very few side effects and is therefore available without a prescription. Results from its regular application can only be expected after 5 to 6 months.

Topical Immunotherapy: This is considered as one of the most effective treatment for alopecia areata. It involves the application of chemicals like diphencyprone (DPCP), dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB), squaric acid dibutylester (SADBE). If the treatment works, the scalp hair starts growing towards the end of 5 to 6 months. The only condition with topical immunotherapy is that its application needs to be continued for in order to remain the growth.

Other medical treatments for alopecia areata include the use of immuno-modulators like JAK, Xeljanz, Jakafi, etc.

Home Remedies

For longer or more serious bouts of alopecia and hair loss, the most common treatment is steroids, which stimulate the follicles that are either obstructed or non-functional. Different parts of the world use different home remedies, depending on the availability of materials and the traditional remedies already established there. Before using either home remedies or prescribed medicines, you should know for sure that you are suffering from this condition.

Some of the home remedies for alopecia areata include lavender and other essential oils, milk thistle, ginkgo, kelp, potatoes, cucumbers, peppers, green tea, onions, rosemary, henna, aloe vera, fenugreek, licorice root, and Chinese hibiscus.

Lavender: Studies have shown that lavender, when rubbed into the scalp at the point of initial baldness, can slow or even reverse the effects of alopecia areata. This essential oil, since it is so powerful, should be diluted into a base oil before being applied, such as almond or coconut oil. Other essential oils, including peppermint, sage, and rosemary oils can also be used to stimulate blood flow to the scalp, thereby causing hair follicles to begin growing hair again.

Kelp and a Vitamin C-Rich Diet: One of the healthiest ways to reduce the effects of alopecia areata is to eat as much vitamin C as possible, which is found in citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables. The other minerals and vitamins found in kelp also help stimulate the growth and protection of hair, which can slow or reverse the condition.

Herbal Remedies: Herbal remedies are famous all around the world, and while the availability of certain herbs might be difficult, depending on where you live, the use of ginkgo and milk thistle are always good for hair loss and alopecia areata. Ginkgo helps to stimulate circulation and the growth of new hair, while milk thistle helps to detoxify your body and has been linked to protecting the health of your scalp and body hair.

Onions: There are a variety of home remedies involving onions, including onion juice, which can be applied directly on the scalp. The high sulphur content helps to stimulate circulation and new growth, while the antiseptic quality of onions kill scalp-borne infections or microbes that might contribute to the hair loss conditions. Furthermore, onion skins are often rubbed on the scalp area that is losing hair.

High-Silicon Vegetables: Vegetables such as potatoes, peppers, and cucumbers are commonly usedto reduce hair loss, primarily due to the high silicon content found in their skins. Silicon is known to strengthen both hair and nails, making your body less susceptible to alopecia areata and related conditions that cause hair loss. Massage the bald patches with the outer skin of these vegetables multiple times a day for best results.

Coconut Milk: By applying coconut milk mixed with a gram of flour to the scalp, you can guarantee a quick recovery of your lost hair. This paste quickly stimulates the hair follicles and boosts the overall health of your scalp.

Aloe Vera: This plant is highly stimulating in nature and dramatically increases circulation of the blood to any area of the body, but is particularly effective in terms of promoting scalp development and recovery. You can apply aloe vera gel liberally to your scalp, as it has very few side effects, but many health benefits if absorbed by the skin.

Green Tea: Dipping a cloth into green tea and wiping or dabbing the bare patches of your scalp can be very effective as a remedy for alopecia areata. The catechins, saponins, and general antioxidants present in green tea can stimulate the regeneration of healthy cells on the scalp and eliminate any free radicals beneath the surface of the skin that may be causing the hair loss. Although the science on this type of treatment is still in the early research phases, traditional medicine swears by this remedy.

Chinese Hibiscus: Mix the petals of the hibiscus flower with some dandelion oil and apply it to the scalp. This flower has been associated with maintaining the health of the hair when it has not fallen out, such as eliminating split ends and improving volume and lustre, but it also stimulates the rejuvenation of hair follicles in the case of alopecia.

Licorice Root: Licorice root has long been considered a mollifying agent and a relaxing substance. It relaxes and opens the pores, thereby allowing nutrients into the scalp, and it also soothes the scalp and eliminates irritations that may cause flaking or dry, dead hair. It is ideal for eliminating dandruff, hair loss, and split ends, as well as reversing the effects of this condition.

Fenugreek: Studies have shown that fenugreek has certain hormone stimulating components that actually help to rebuild hair follicles that have been destroyed or damaged through the condition of alopecia. The various proteins and organic compounds found in fenugreek seeds also help to regrow hair and improve the defensive capacity of your scalp against conditions like alopecia areata. Research is ongoing to scientifically verify these claims, but it has been an accepted home remedy for many years.

Whatever your preferred method of treatment, it is important to recognize whether you have the actual condition or if you are merely suffering from the natural progression of age. Seeing a doctor is a good way to know for sure, but from there, the choice of treatment is up to you. Fortunately, if the doctor says that you do not have alopecia areata, these home remedies can also help with normal hair loss! Happy Hair Hunting!

References
  1. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/554546
  2. http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/10887448
  3. http://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(00)90164-6/abstract
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1967069/
  5. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/528193
  6. http://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(09)00518-0/abstract
  7. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-4362.1996.tb03281.x/full
  8. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/554501
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3002409/
  10. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2133.1997.tb03777.x/full
  11. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/189618
  12. http://www.ijrpbsonline.com/files/11-3325.pdf
  13. http://www.electrochemsci.org/papers/vol5/5010105.pdf
  14. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9783527620777.ch59d/summary
  15. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=h3A5RZzMO_gC
  16. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15325020490890633
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2576011/
  18. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ci0_fhiQe7MC

What do you think?

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

14 comments

by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
1

I have tried to reply to Varsha and Imelda. You can email me at [email protected]

2

I was diagnosed with Alopecia when i was four years old, i am now 19 and have just found a hair loss treatment that works for me. I was completely bald when i first started it, keep in mind ive gone as far as getting shots in my head for treatments and all had failed to work. I was looking through the internet one day and found a company called Just Natural. They made a bottle called Alopecia Hair Loss Treatment. Its 40 dollars, which my mom and i thought was reasonable due to how much money we spent on other treatments since i was younger.
Ive been using it for about three or four months now and havent even gotten through half the bottle. Its all natural ingredients and all you have to do is spray a bit on and massage it into the scalp for a bit. i went from being completely bald to growing patches of hair within maybe a month, now i have even more hair growing and its strong as well. If i can go from being bald to growing hair then im sure many people who only have patches will grow them back in no time.
I also tried it on my eyebrows as well, since ive missing some hair from my right eyebrow and almost half of it from my left one since my freshman year of high school. Now, my right eyebrow is almost full again and im growing more hair on the left one.

3

My daughter has had it since she was 4 yrs. old as well. She is now 14 I have kept it under control pretty well until the past few years of her taking care of her own hair. We have found that stress really makes it worse, and with that being said she has found herself with a few bald spots that snuck up on her. We do have something that works pretty well " Olive Oil Root stimulator" She wanted to try some thing else, we are interested in knowing where you found this product so we can try it. Can you please let us know where you got it? Thank you.

4

I got it off of amazon. It's called Just Natural Hair care alopecia hair loss treatment.

5

Thank you.

6

My 5 year old daughter was diagnosed with Alopecia 2 years ago. She had about 6 small spots in her head that would take months to start to grow back. Being proactive, I went to a health food store and the man there told me to give her 2 ounces of Jusuru a day and to spray alkaline water on her spots. Her hair has only fallen out once in 18 months and that was because I ran out of Jusuru and I wanted to see if the Argan oil and Jamican Black Castro Oil werethe reason for keep her hair from falling out. 2 weeks later another spot appeared and I felt terrible, I promised myself that I would never make that mistake again. Her hair doctor was not happy that we stopped with the steriods and took a holistic approach.

7

Tora can you please tell what is jusuru. I have a child that is starting to have bald spots due to alopecia areata. I am desperately looking for a solution!

8
Varsha Mariah Ramnarace

What is jusuru?

9

My name is Johnson Adams and am from United State of America
i was in a distress for years and i have gone and used

different kind of medications on my disease and luckily for me

i met a doctor online which my friend from Romanian told me of

and i contacted her. i told her about my diseases, she gave me

remedy and i took it accordingly to her description today i am

well and healthy again.
am using this medium to give testimony on the good she did to

me and if you are in any situation no matter the illness

Doctor Marina Nikonova will be of help to your situation and i

will advice you contact her as fast as you can.
she lives in Russia and she will help you perfectly.
this is he details in which you can get to her and tell her

about your situation

Phone number: ( +79150889147 )
Email ( [email protected] )
Skype name: Marina Nikonova
Skype identity: ( marina.nikonova1)

10

Thanks a lot Adams, it helps me a lot in solving my problem.Again very very thanks.

11

it really helped me in knowing what to eat ,which oil to be apply on hair for people suffering from alopecia areata problem..hope this work me...:p

12

Eat leafy vegetables spinach. Cauliflower etc n try to keep ur testosterone level low . bcoz excess tests gets converted into DHT .. Which causes hair loss .. U can block ur DHT with finasterides also but it has side effects so i will not recommend that. Keep ur scalp clean and u will see hair regrowth in around 1 month if its not so late .. And drink green tea or black tea .. It blocks DHT .. And last with u r not going to achieve any changes without clean diet and patience.

13

Do you wash the coconut milk and the gram flour out of your hair everyday

14

What have you used and has it worked? If u don't mind text me the answer 3253338907

Download our App