Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disorder that often results in unpredictable hair loss.
It affects roughly 6.8 million people in the United States.
In the majority of cases, hair falls out in small patches around the size of a quarter. For most people, the hair loss is nothing more than a few patches, though in some cases it can be more extreme.
Sometimes, it can lead to the complete loss of hair on the scalp (alopecia totalis) or, in extreme cases, the entire body (alopecia universalis).
The condition can affect anyone regardless of age and gender, though most cases occur before the age of 30.
In this article, we look at the causes and symptoms of alopecia areata, its diagnosis, and potential treatments.
Fast facts on alopecia areata
Here are some key points about alopecia areata. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
- One in five people with alopecia areata also has a family member who has experienced the condition.
- Alopecia areata often develops suddenly, over the course of just a few days.
- There is little scientific evidence that alopecia areata is caused by stress.
- People with alopecia areata who have only a few patches of hair loss often experience a spontaneous, full recovery, without the need for treatment.
- There is no cure for alopecia areata.
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The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.