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hair loss

What is Alopecia Areata ?:

How does Alopecia Areata occur ?

Alopecia areata is an "auto-immune" disease. This means a condition in which the body's defense or immune system acts as if its own hair is abnormal and attacks it. This results in hair loss. Why certain small areas are involved is not known. It is occasionally found with other auto-immune diseases affecting the blood, thyroid gland and adrenal glands, and skin pigment cells.

Why does Alopecia Areata occur ?

Alopecia areata may affect several members of your family, because the tendency to it is partly inherited, exposure to toxins like pesticide, vitamin deficiency, autoimmune process or a fungal or bacterial infection. In some people, emotional stress or injury to the involved area may trigger the problem.

Treatment Involved for Alopecia Areata

Common sense approach to the treatment is by treating the cause.

When the hair starts to grow, you may notice that the hairs are often fine and white and may not be obvious in the mirror. With time, the hairs thicken and darken and so become more easily seen. Occasionally, the hairs thicken but remain white. Hair grows very slowly and it may take many months before the bald patch becomes covered with hair.

After Treatment for Alopecia Areata

Once the patches have regrown, they are unlikely to go bald again.

If Alopecia Areata is Left Untreated

Alopecia areata may occur in other family members but this is unusual. Patients with severe alopecia need considerable support from family and friends.

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A 35-year-old woman presented with severe recalcitrant atopic dermatitis, in association with disseminated mollusca contagiosa and alopecia areata universalis. After several weeks of systemic interferon gamma, which was administered subcutaneously,the viral infection cleared and, surprisingly, four weeks after starting treatment hair re-growth was observed. Complete remission of alopecia areata was documented few weeks later and persists. After four cycles of high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin, a sustained remission of the atopic dermatitis was achieved.
J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2005 Jun;3(6):441-4

We report a patient with CVID and AU treated with IVIG who experienced significant hair regrowth. An 8-year-old girl with CVID and AU was treated with IVIG 400 mg/kg every 4 weeks. Since her second dose of IVIG, regrowth of eyelashes, eyebrows, body and scalp hair was observed in this patient. At present, about 1 year treat-meant of IVIG, significant hair regrowth is noted with 5-6 cm of scalp hair. We believe that IVIG may be beneficial in the treatment of AU, at least in patients with CVID.
Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol. 1999