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What Is Alopecia Areata?

by Harbor Compounding pharmacy 8 months ago in list
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Alopecia Areata treatment in Harbor compounding pharmacy

Not only a person's hair is a significant part of their identity, but it also performs several purposes for the body. People who struggle with alopecia areata know how emotionally and physically traumatic it can be to have hair loss issues. While some treatments for this bothersome condition exist and have been used for years, most come with substantial undesirable risks and side effects. Specific unconventional therapies for alopecia areata from compounding pharmacies may be more worthy of attention.

Alopecia areata is a very common autoimmune disease that causes unpredictable hair loss on the scalp and other hair sites. It usually starts with losing hair with a few small, round and smooth patches. Although it is experienced by men and women of all ages and races, it occurs in childhood more often. Around 147 million worldwide and 6.8 million people in the United States only develop alopecia areata at any stage in their lives.

In alopecia areata, a person's immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles resulting in the arrest of the hair growth stage. These affected follicles become very small, as a result, hair production slows down, and one notices no hair above the surface for months or years, usually on the scalp. But any hair-bearing site may be affected, including beard, eyebrows, and eyelashes.

In some people, only a few bare patches are formed that regrow hair within a year. But there are people with wide patches of lost hair. Despite the range of hair loss, the hair follicles remain active and are capable of resuming normal production of hair whenever the brain sends the signal. Whatever the case be, hair regrowth may occur even without treatment and even after many years.

The hair loss can be sudden and take just a few days or for a few weeks to develop. You may feel itching or burning in the area before hair loss. However, most of the time, hair follicles are not destroyed, so hair can regrow. Those people who develop patches of hair loss usually recover spontaneously and fully without any form of treatment.

About half of patients completely recover from alopecia areata within one year. However, fewer people with alopecia areata find that their condition either becomes a continuous cycle of hair loss and regrowth or becomes more extensive.

What Are The Types of Alopecia Areata?

Alopecia areata is divided into the following two types based on which area it affects:

  • Alopecia totalis
  • Alopecia totalise is characterized by hair loss from the entire scalp.
  • Alopecia universalis
  • Alopecia universalis is characterized by hair loss from the entire body.

What Are The Symptoms of Alopecia Areata?

Most people with alopecia start showing signs before they reach 30, but it can affect people at any age. Similarly, alopecia areata can affect any gender or race.

Hair loss

The main symptoms associated with alopecia areata are somewhat related to hair loss. The most significant symptom of alopecia areata is patchy hair loss. You usually notice losing hair in coin-sized patches on your scalp, but you may also notice patches on your legs, underarms, or even your facial hair. It is very common for alopecia to cause patchy spots on the head, in the beard, or even loss of eyelashes.

Skin irritation

At times, people encounter unusual skin sensations just before their hair comes out. For example, you may feel parts of your scalp are irritated or itching. These sensations are accompanied by sudden hair loss. You may lose hair in the affected areas in just a couple of days or weeks.

Change in nails

An unexpected effect of alopecia areata on people is on their nails. In a few cases, changes in the toenails or fingernails appear before you notice any hair loss. The nails may appear rough, dented, super thin, split and lose their shine.

Other symptoms of alopecia areata pointed out by doctors during diagnosis are below:

Dying hair under the skin's surface; also known as cadaver hair

Growth of white hair in areas that are affected by hair loss

Growth of hair shaped like an "exclamation mark"; thinner bottom and thicker root

What Are The Causes of Alopecia Areata?

Although some risk factors for alopecia areata are known, the exact cause is not known.

Autoimmune factor

According to the researchers, mostly, it's the body's white cells mistakenly attacking the hair follicles and causing them to shrink. It may also cause to slow the hair growth or even stop it.

Genetic factor

Research points to genetic factors as the cause of this condition. Alopecia areata is a 'polygenic disease' which means that genes inherited from parents can contribute to bringing about the disease. It has been found that one out of every five people with alopecia areata has someone in the family with alopecia or other autoimmune disorders like atopy.

Stress

Although alopecia areata is not always related to stress, it's not uncommon for people suffering from it to suffer severe stress.

How Can You Diagnose Alopecia Areata?

Doctors usually diagnose alopecia areata reasonably quickly by noticing the symptoms as they are so unique and noticeable. They will determine the degree of hair loss and observe hair from affected areas with the aid of a microscope. If the doctor is unable to diagnose even after an initial clinical examination, they perform a skin biopsy and a blood test to rule out other autoimmune diseases.

How Can You Treat Alopecia Areata?

Alopecia areata is an incurable disease for now. But there are several treatments that doctors may suggest to help the regrowth of hair quickly. The best treatments and solutions for alopecia areata may not be convenient. Most medicinal solutions that Harbor Compounding offers have shown more efficacy and fewer side effects for patients to experience. Here are some unconventional treatment options that you may want to think about other than the traditional corticosteroids or other common medications.

Diphencyprone

A topical immunotherapy medication- Diphencyprone, can be applied to the affected areas of the body that have been affected by hair loss. Diphencyprone has been experimentally and actually proven to be an effective medication for alopecia. A study proves that patients with alopecia experienced 40 percent of hair regrowth after using it for approximately six months. And two-thirds of the participants of the experiment had sustained the new hair growth during a one-year follow-up.

Low Dose Naltrexone

low dose naltrexone is the most commonly prescribed medication to treat certain types of addiction as it is an opioid receptor antagonist it helps to serve the purpose. However, if given in low doses ranging from one to five milligrams a day, it may stimulate the body to produce anti-inflammatory beta-endorphins and lower pro-inflammatory proteins in the blood. This action has been examined extensively for various health conditions, including alopecia areata, and how it could help. The medication has the ability to aid immune-cell regulation and hair regrowth.

Squaric Acid

Scientifically known as squaric acid dibutyl ester (SADBE), it is a topical immune sensitizer suitable for people who have been experiencing long-term alopecia areata. The American Academy of Dermatology published a study involving patients with alopecia; half of them experienced total hair regrowth within six months. Several other studies show that SADBE may be most effective for alopecia if combined with other therapies like cryotherapy.

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About the author

Harbor Compounding pharmacy

Harbor Compounding Pharmacy in California to provide better health solutions. The aim of this health pharmacy is to provide solutions to all health-related issues. It provides treatment for all diseases and health counseling.

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