What is Alopecia?
Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disorder that often results in unpredictable hair loss. It develops when the body attacks its own hair follicles.
Hair falls often in clumps the size and shape of a quarter. The amount of hair loss is different for everyone. Some people lose it only in a few spots. Others lose a lot. Sometimes, hair grows back but falls out again later. In others, hair grows back for good.
Alopecia can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or race, though most cases develop *before the age of 30.
Types of Alopecia
There are different types of this condition. Alopecia areata is most common in its main form, but there are other, more rare types:
- Alopecia areata totalis means you’ve lost all the hair on your head.
- Alopecia areata universalis is the loss of hair over your entire body.
- Diffuse alopecia areata is a sudden thinning of your hair rather than lost patches.
- Ophiasis alopecia areata causes hair loss in a band shape around the sides and back of your head.
Symptoms of Alopecia
- Small bald patches on your scalp or other parts of your body
- Patches may get larger and grow together into a bald spot
- Hair grows back in one spot and falls out in another
- You lose a lot of hair over a short time
- More hair loss in cold weather
- Fingernails and toenails become red, brittle, and pitted
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