About Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata - among the conditions treated by Chicago dermatologist Dr. Nilam AminAlopecia means hair loss. Alopecia Areata is a unique type of hair loss in which the body attacks the hair follicles resulting in patchy areas of hair loss. It is considered autoimmune in nature and occurs mostly on the scalp. But, it can also involve the eyebrows, eyelashes, or beard area.

Some patients with Alopecia Areata can also have nail findings. The most common finding is nail pitting but other changes that can be seen are roughness, ridging, brittle nails, and splitting nails.

Alopecia Areata Treatments

Hair may re-grow on its own, but there are some treatments that can help hair re-grow more quickly. For my patients with Alopecia Areata, I discuss the following:

  • Cortisteroids—most often administered as injections, but also as topical preparations
  • Anthralin — a short-contact therapy that alters the skin’s immune function

Tips for Patients with Alopecia Areata

The American Academy of Dermatology offers the following tips for patients who have Alopecia Areata:

  • Hide hair loss. If you feel embarrassed by hair loss, there are things you can do to hide your bald spots:
    • Style your hair to cover the bald spots.
    • Wear a wig, cap, hat, or scarf. These do not interfere with hair re-growth.
    • Some people shave their head.
    • Use makeup to draw in missing eyebrows.
  • Join a support group. While the above tips can hide the hair loss, people often have trouble dealing with the emotional aspects of this type of hair loss. Because the emotional aspects can be so difficult, you may want to join a support group.

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I provide both medical and cosmetic dermatological services. Please feel free to contact us to make an appointment.