What is Alopecia Totalis?
Alopecia Totalis is the 2nd type of Alopecia Areata which resemble the stage of complete hair loss on the scalp or complete baldness. The exact cause of Alopecia Totalis is still unknown although the Autoimmune disorder is one of the most important causes of Hair loss. Almost 20% of people can be seen suffering from this kind of hair loss. Weak immune system attacks the hair follicles resulting in severe hair fall and leads to round baldness patches all above the scalp. Apart from this, genetic factors also continue in resulting the Alopecia Totalis. There is on-sure treatment thereof although some may experience the regrowth of hairs as the time passes or as the immune system improves.
Alopecia Totalis also resemble as the skin disease causing complete baldness, not only on the head but all across the human body. Alopecia Totalis or AT can be spread in two forms:-
- Sudden loss of complete hairs from the scalp
- Originates from Alopecia Areata and then advances to complete hair loss.
Alopecia Totalis can affect all age groups of people such as children, adults under the age of 40. The skin disease can also affect the nail disease and affects almost 1 out of 1,25,000 men and 1 out of 2,50,000 women.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Alopecia Totalis?
Alopecia Totalis refers to the complete hair baldness on the scalp which is an ultimate symptom of the disease. It may start with small patches on the head which may take the form of baldness later. A person having the problem of Alopecia Totalis may also have the problem of pitted & brittle nails. Apart from these, people may have the condition of scalp discomfort such as soreness, itching, tingling sensations.
What are the Causes of Alopecia Totalis?
The actual causes are still not identified, the AutoImmune disorder is taken as the serious cause of Alopecia Totalis which directly triggers the hair follicles causing inflammation and thus causing hair loss. Apart from these, the known causes are given below:-
- Stressful life and heightened emotions
- Genetic Factors
- Chronic and serious diseases like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, overactive thyroids, diabetes and AIDS
- Other factors like allergies, viruses, and toxins
About 5% of children can be seen affected although men and women both have equal chances of having Alopecia Totalis. Hair loss may itself catch the system of hair growth by own with having any treatment.
How is Alopecia Totalis Diagnosed?
Alopecia Totalis is taken as the skin disease which can be diagnosed by:-
- Physical Examination
- Scalp Biopsy
- Blood Tests which are to analyze the exact autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, thyroids etc.
What are the Treatments for Alopecia Totalis?
Once you are done with the diagnostic procedure, Doctors may ask you for several medicational, therapy and surgical treatments which are given below:-
Medications & therapy:-
- Corticosteroids: This will help to improve the immune system or will stop the immune system to attack the healthy tissues and thus will prevent hair loss and regrow of hairs
- Topical immunotherapy: This topic treatment will boost the immune system to help your body fight with hair condition to stimulate ai growth. Injections of glucocorticoids, Anthralin, and oral glucocorticoids are usually used in this treatment
- Minoxidil (Rogaine): the treatment is offered to children and adults along with other therapies which will results in hair growth within 3 months. this is majorly used to treat the male pattern hair loss.
- Diphencyprone (DPCP): this is done to stimulate an allergic reaction which will lead to increase white blood cell count and eventually simulating he hair follicles & promoting hair growth
- Ultraviolet light therapy: this helps to increase the blood circulation and results in regrowth of hairs. But if the treatment stops, hair fall may start again. This is also called PUVA which is done to decrease or remove the Langerhans cells.
- Tofacitinib: This is developed to improve the condition of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Steroid Therapy: Steroid Pills or creams are applied to the scalp. It is started with the mild dosage which can be increased later. an aggressive treatment may have an adverse effect. In some cases, steroid injections are given to help regrow hairs.
- Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE: In this method, Hair follicles are extracted from the donor area and then implanted into reception area after making an incision. It an advanced procedure so not cut is involved in this.
- Direct Hair Transplant: It is the modern technology which is 2-4 day procedure and may lead to implant maximum 6000 hairs.
There are many others treatments are available in the market although the effectiveness of each treatment may vary as per the consistency and human immune system and genetic factors. the treatment is:-
- Natural treatments: Massing the scalps with some natural oils such as lavender, cedarwood, rosemary may help to stimulate the hair follicles. Apart from this Primula obconica is an herbal plant which causes allergic reactions on the skin and triggering the hair growth. Combination of natural and herbal treatment may give results in one term.
- Homeopathic & Ayurvedic Treatment: Acupuncture can be useful to regrow hairs in men and women in some of the cases.
- Cosmetic Management: To hide the patchy baldness, Wigs & hairpieces can be used, although using the cosmetic accessories may have more adverse effects.