In this type of hair loss, one or more circular bald patches of hair loss usually present suddenly. The hair can fall out on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. It is an autoimmune disorder, in which the immune system attacks hair follicles, that causes alopecia areata. Alopecia areata tends to occur most often in adults 30 to 60 years of age. However, it can also affect older individuals and, rarely, young children. Different types of alopecia areata exist:
Alopecia areata (hair loss in patches)
Alopecia totalis (lose all hair on the scalp)
Alopecia universalis (lose all hair on the body)
It is important to note that alopecia areata is not contagious. There is no cure for alopecia areata. Hair often re-grows on its own. Treatment can help the hair re-grow more quickly. Patients often get more than 1 treatment at a time. A mix of 2 or more treatments often boosts success. Some of the more common treatments are corticosteroid injections and topical creams such as topical corticosteroids, anthralin, and minoxidil. Other rare treatments include Diphencyprone (DPCP) and oral therapy.