Alopecia areata is the abnormal loss of hair or hair loss so the term is considered synonymous with baldness. It can affect the scalp, hair follicles or other areas of the skin where there is hair, such as eyelashes, armpits, genital region and beard.
Total alopecia can be classified into two groups: cicatricial alopecia, with destruction of the hair follicle and therefore irreversible, and non-scarring forms, which are potentially reversible and do not grow back.
The most frequent form is androgenic alopecia, also called androgenetic alopecia or common baldness, which is responsible for 95% of cases. It mainly affects men, and less frequently women.
The causes of alopecia are very varied and require a correct diagnosis through anamnesis, physical examination and complementary tests, such as trichogram, analytical or biopsy, which vary according to the type of hair loss.
Stress. Alopecia areata is the alopecia most related to psychological factors such as stress. The etiology of this type of alopecia is autoimmune, that is, there is damage to the hair follicle by the patient’s own defenses.
Although the origin pathogenesis of alopecia areata is of autoimmune etiology, the importance of the piscological factors in the origin and perpetuation of this type of alopecia has been confirmed.
Aging of the skin Like other organs and tissues, hair ages. Over the years, the amount of hair decreases and, after 40 years, the hair loses thickness, with which the total density decreases.
Inflammatory diseases Inflammatory diseases of the skin, such as lupus or lichen, are the cause of alopecia and require specific treatment.
Male hormones The most frequent alopecia is due to the action of androgens, male hormones that shorten the growth phase of the hair and replacing it with hair. This type of alopecia is called androgenetic alopecia.
It mainly affects the male, although it also occurs in women. In men, androgenetic alopecia develops according to the male pattern, producing a recession of the frontal line of implantation and / or alopecia in the crown.
Treatment of alopecia
The early diagnosis of alopecia is fundamental in the outcome of the treatment. The earlier we treat the loss of capillary mass, the more reversible its cause will be. Males can be treated with finasteride orally, which inhibits the enzyme that turns androgens into active.
In cases of advanced androgenetic alopecia, other treatments are grafting hair so that the hairs grow back.