Hair Today, Here Tomorrow
Alopecia areata can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity, and can negatively impact your self-esteem and quality of life. Fortunately, there are ways to stop alopecia areata from spreading and to stimulate hair re-growth. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the causes, symptoms and treatments like LITFULO, a once-daily prescription pill for severe alopecia areata in both adults and adolescents as young as 12.
Signs and Symptoms of Alopecia Areata
Signs and symptoms of alopecia areata may include:
- Sudden loss of oval or round patches of hair on your scalp or other areas of the body.
- Itching, tingling or burning on patches of skin right before the hair falls out.
- Eye irritation or sinus discomfort if you have lost your eyebrows and eyelashes.
- Changes to your fingernails, such as white spots, dents, thinning, splitting or roughness.
In most cases, your hair will regrow, but you may have subsequent episodes of hair loss.
Causes of Alopecia Areata
If you have alopecia areata, your immune system mistakenly attacks your hair follicles and prevents them from growing. It’s unknown what causes your immune system to attack your hair follicles, but researchers believe that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development of alopecia areata.
Treatment for Alopecia Areata
Currently, there is no cure for alopecia areata, but there are treatments available that can help to reduce your hair loss and promote hair re-growth. Your doctor will take your age, the severity of your hair loss and your personal preferences into consideration when deciding on a treatment plan.
Some of the common treatments for alopecia areata are:
Topical medications: These medications are applied to the affected area of your scalp or body to decrease inflammation and stimulate hair growth. Examples of topical medications include corticosteroids and minoxidil.
Injections: These injections are given directly into the bald patches to deliver medications to decrease inflammation and stimulate hair growth. Examples include high-dose corticosteroids and other immune system-modulating drugs, such as diphencyprone.
Oral medications: These medications are taken by mouth to affect the immune system or the hormones that influence hair growth. Examples include immunosuppressants, such as methotrexate and cyclosporine, to decrease inflammation of the hair follicles, and finasteride, a medication that blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, which is a hormone that causes hair loss in some men.
Phototherapy: This therapy uses UV light to decrease inflammation of the hair follicles and promote hair regrowth. Using phototherapy in combination with oral medications often leads to better results.
Cosmetic devices: Various temporary and permanent cosmetic devices help to cover up hair loss. Examples include wigs, extensions, artificial eyelashes, tattooed eyebrows and scalp micro-pigmentation.
Tips to Stop the Spread of Alopecia Areata
While there is no cure for alopecia areata, there are some things you can try to stop it from spreading, including:
Manage your stress: Learning ways to manage stress, including meditation, yoga and deep breathing, helps to decrease stress and prevent the worsening of your alopecia areata symptoms.
Take a daily supplement: Taking supplements including zinc, biotin, vitamin E, iron, vitamin C and vitamin D helps improve the health of your hair by nourishing hair follicles and stimulating hair growth.
Use essential oil: Lavender essential oil has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Diluting lavender essential oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and massaging it onto your scalp once or twice a day helps to soothe your scalp and promote hair growth.
Try acupuncture: This traditional Chinese medicine technique involves inserting tiny needling into specific areas of the body to restore energy flow and promote healing. It also helps to reduce stress, inflammation and hair loss if you have alopecia areata.
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet: Avoiding foods that cause inflammation in your body, such as processed foods, gluten, dairy, sugars and alcohol, improves your immune system and prevents hair loss. Replacing these foods with ones that fight inflammation, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats, including fatty fish and olive oil, helps to prevent alopecia areata from spreading.
Take probiotics: They have beneficial bacteria that help to balance your gut flora, which helps to regulate your immune system and prevents it from overreacting and causing inflammation.
Avoid unnecessary trauma to your hair or scalp: Trauma damages your hair follicles and causes more inflammation, which worsens symptoms of alopecia areata. Being gentle with your hair and avoiding harsh chemicals, such as bleaches, perms and dyes, helps prevent the worsening of your alopecia areata symptoms.
LITFULO for Alopecia Areata
Litfulo is a once-daily prescription pill that helps adults and adolescents as young as 12 with severe alopecia areata. Many individuals who have taken Litfulo have seen significant hair regrowth that covered 80% or more of their scalp in just under 6 months.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that happens when your immune system mistakenly attacks your hair follicles and prevents them from growing, leading to patches of hair loss. Hair loss usually occurs on your scalp but can affect your whole body, including your arms, legs, eyebrows and eyelashes.
Alopecia areata is a complex and often unpredictable autoimmune condition that causes patchy hair loss due to your immune system mistakenly attacking your hair follicles. While there is no cure for alopecia areata, there are a variety of treatment options available, including topical applications, injections, oral medications, phytotherapy and cosmetic devices to help manage your symptoms. Additionally, there are a variety of tips to help prevent alopecia areata from spreading, including managing your stress, eating a healthy diet and avoiding unnecessary hair and scalp trauma, among others. By following some of these tips, you can improve the health of your hair and help stop alopecia areata from spreading.