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What is Alopecia?
If you have never heard of it before, Alopecia simply means Hair Loss or Baldness. Experiencing hair loss can be devastating and emotionally draining, especially for women who value hair as a part of their beauty. According to the American Hair Loss Association, 40% of hair loss sufferers in the United States are women. To many, this may come as a surprise since the general belief is that men are the only ones who are usually affected by baldness. For many women and men, it becomes a new normal and is something they are forced to accept as a new part of their lives. Because you are bald does not mean you are not beautiful. Everyone is beautiful in their own way and some people actually look great without hair.
Picture of Norman Freeman – Credit: Instagram @normanfreeman
Life with Alopecia
At first, it may be a bit discouraging or even depressing. Living with Alopecia does not mean the world has come to an end. It may be hard to accept it as your new normal or you may embrace your new beauty. If you prefer not to be seen bald in public, just know that there are options for you. There are natural looking Human Hair Wigs that you can buy and when you install them, no one would ever know it was not your real hair. Online Hair Supply Stores like NubianPrincessHairShop.com offer all types of different lace front wigs and other lace wigs which give you a natural looking hairline.
Many people who have heard of Alopecia may assume there is only one type, but there are a few. Below is an explanation of five different types of Alopecia. For those of you reading who are not familiar, this will give you a better understanding about the disorder and its effects.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, Alopecia Areata is the most common hair loss condition which is inflammation induced. This disorder affects millions of Americans of all ages every year. Bald patches appear on the scalp and may or may not be accompanied by atopic dermatitis. It usually happens quickly and may catch sufferers by surprise. Patches may appear in different areas of the scalp, or the entire head may go completely bald.
Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia
Otherwise known as FFA, this condition causes scarring which is irreversible. A continuous receding of the hairline occurs and may be accompanied by a scaly look. It is a bit unpredictable as the regression could suddenly become stable on its own. Another effect which can occur from this disorder is eyebrow loss. Apart from the scalp, and the eyebrows, instances can also occur on other parts of the body.
This type of Alopecia also referred to as SA can occur as a result of contracting Secondary Syphilis. It may or may not be accompanied by a rash in the trunk area, fever and other symptoms. Dematology Practical & Conceptual found that it is an uncommon condition which is characterized by scalp that takes a moth-eaten or patchy appearance.
This type is a disorder group and a diagnosis can be 1 in a group of 4. With this disorder, damage to hair follicles is permanent and leaves scarring. Causes include radiation, trauma, infections, and other reasons and diagnosis can be challenging in some cases. According to the Journal of the German Society of Dermatology, a full body examination needs to take place as well as a trichoscopy. In the event that a diagnosis is still not concluded, then a biopsy would be needed for further investigation and diagnosis. Treatment can include topical anti-inflammatory medications, IV medications and injections.
This type is a disorder which is common in men. It is also known as male pattern baldness and is the most common type which affects males. The area of the scalp where hair loss occurs, the age at which the process starts, and the severity of the loss varies from person to person. One commonality is that the hair starts in the top area of the head and recedes backward in a horseshoe shaped fashion.
Scientists know that Androgenetic Alopecia is a polygenetic condition, but it is not fully understood. According to Endocrine, further studies will be needed to fully conclude what the specific factors are that cause this condition.
If you suspect that you have any type of Alopecia, you should consult your doctor. If you have had Alopecia for a while or you were recently diagnosed with it, just know that you are not alone. There are many people out there with the same issues you are facing.
A good idea may be to join support group and forums to learn about the experiences of others and to share your experiences with them. You should also know that there are great natural looking hair replacement alternatives out there. Solutions such as lace wigs and toupees are great options for all men, women and children who suffer from hair loss. The invention of such hair replacement solutions is life changing for many people dealing with Alopecia. What’s best is that they are all affordable options.