What Is Alopecia Areata?

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes hair to fall out in small, random patches.  The hair loss usually affects the scalp, but it can also occur in other areas of the body.  The exact cause of alopecia areata isn’t known.   The autoimmune disease basis is in relation to various factors that act as triggers of acute episodes or relapsesbut it is unclear what their exact involvement in the mechanism of disease production.

However, it most often occurs in people who have a family history of other autoimmune disorders, such as type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.  Alopecia Areata (AA) is a multi-factorial disease characterized by generally asymptomatic, non-scarring alopecia areas that affects approximately 2% of patients in the dermatological consultations and 20% of patients in the Trichological consultations.  More patients are in Trichology since Trichologist only specialize is scalp disorders.  . 

Areata (AA) or bare plates are a fairly common form of hair loss. Approximately 2% of the general population will develop this problem at some point in their lives.


Alopecia areata (AA) is defined as a skin disease characterized in its limited form of alopecia platesround or oval with well-defined margins between normal skin and the affected scalp. Alopecia areata means “Hair loss in spots or areas,” and can result in bald circular patches on one or more spots of the scalp.  However, presents no scaling, induration or loss of follicular ostia. It can progress to complete loss of scalp hair and / or body and can affect the nails.

The disease can begin at any age but there has been a peak between 20 and 50 years. It affects both sexes equallyIn over half of cases the disease begins before age 20 and affects up around 0.5-1% per thousand of the population.


The Alopecia areata AA affects the overall hair and nails in some patients, especially in the more pronounced cases. It starts from the presence of a peribulbar inflammatory infiltrate resulting in an interruption in the cycle of follicular developmentultimately leading to detachment of the hair. Once this action ceases infiltrated is recoverableThe Alopecia areata AA can always be reversible.

Alopecia areata is a disease that causes hair to fall out in small patches. It develops when the immune system attacks the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Sudden hair loss may occur on the scalp and other parts of the body. The condition rarely results in total hair loss, or alopecia universalis, but it can prevent hair from growing back. When hair does grow back, it’s possible for the hair to fall out again. The extent of hair loss and regrowth varies from person-to-person.

Is Alopecia Areata hereditiary?
It is understood that genetics plays a role in alopecia areata. Around 20% of people with alopecia areata will have a family member with the condition.  Those with alopecia areata are more likely to have family members with other autoimmune or atopic conditions, such as asthma, eczema, hay fever, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, thyroid disease and vitiligo.

Is there a cure for Alopecia Areata?
There’s currently no cure for alopecia areata. However, there are treatments that may help hair grow back more quickly and that can prevent future hair loss. There are also resources available to help people cope with the disease.  

As we have commented before, disease is multi dimensional and involves genetic, immunological reactionsnervous factors (stress, depression, anxiety, etc.), and to a lesser extent by viral processesoral infections that can be mucosal infections or carries (chronic infection, etc.) and thyroid problems that typically arise in a universal alopecia.
Bald Patches in the Beard is Alopecia Barbae
Alopecia barbae is alopecia areata that is localized to the beard area. It can be a single bald patch or more extensive hair loss across the entire beard area. 

If you or someone you know is dealing with this scalp or skin disorder, please book a complimentary consultation with Trichologist Leola Anifowoshe at Solutions. 

Also, visit the Hair Vitamin Store and begin taking Nzuri Vida stress and body rejuvenation tonic to give your body the boost t will need for auto immune disorders.