Alopecia Treatment

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What is Alopecia?

Alopecia, sometimes called alopecia areata, is different from typical hair loss. It’s actually an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks its hair follicles. There are many different types of alopecia (which can determine your treatment options) but alopecia doesn’t seem to affect any specific demographic more than others – in short, anyone can be affected by alopecia.

You have a higher risk of developing alopecia if someone in your family also has it. This isn’t the same as a history of balding in your family. Alopecia is a separate concern that can actually occur more often in people with other autoimmune diseases, allergies, or asthma. Your dermatologist will be able to tell the difference between alopecia and normal balding during an appointment.

Alopecia can come and go at different times, causing a cycle of hair loss, regrowth, and more hair loss. This usually sets it apart from baldness.

What Are the Symptoms of Alopecia?

  • Small bald patches
  • Rapid hair loss
  • Bald patches that change or grow larger
  • Brittle, pitted fingernails and toenails

What Are My Treatment Options?

There are a few different options for alopecia treatment. Firstly, your dermatologist can confirm alopecia by taking a small biopsy of your scalp. Then, you’ll discuss the best treatment options for you and your medical history.

The outlook for your alopecia treatment can depend on whether your condition is long-term or not. Alopecia can be a temporary condition and will go away with medication. Other times, it may need to be managed with a life-long treatment approach. Your board-certified dermatologist can help you figure out what to expect from your alopecia treatment during your appointment.

Some options include:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Diphencyprone (DPCP)
  • Anthralin
  • Minoxidil

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How Do I Take Care of Myself With Alopecia?

Managing alopecia for the long term can be difficult. It can be helpful to discuss ways to protect your hair and adapt to life with hair loss with the help of your dermatologist. You should always keep track of any changes in your hair or nail growth, and report these to your dermatologist. Additionally, find ways to manage stress and protect your hair and skin by wearing hats or sunscreen when outside. If alopecia affects areas like your eyelashes, eyebrows, or other facial hair, your dermatologist can recommend ways to adapt and protect your face. Finally, alopecia can be difficult to cope with, so consider reaching out to support groups in your area.

Schedule an Appointment

Alopecia is treatable with the help of a board-certified dermatologist. To learn more, meet with our team at Hamblin Dermatology by calling or filling out our online contact form.

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