Hair Loss (Alopecia)

Hair Loss, Alopecia

Alopecia is the loss of hair from any part of the body that differs from the natural cycle of hair growth. [1] Hair loss is commonly associated with aging, stress and childbirth and can also be due to diseases like lupus, diabetes, hormone problems and medications.

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune T-cell disease characterized by non-scarring hair loss.[2] Both males and females of all ages and races can be affected. [3] Typically the loss of hair is in a round pattern; although, other patterns are possible.

There are various types of Alopecia Areata.

  • Patchy Alopecia Areata – Limited patchy hair loss
  • Alopecia Totalis – complete loss of hair on the scalp
  • Alopecia Universalis – complete loss of hair on the scalp and body

Causes of Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease with an unknown trigger. It is possible that the trigger is within the body, outside the body or a combination of both. [4]

Alopecia areata may be associated with immune diseases including asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, thyroid disease, and autoimmune diseases such as thyroiditis and vitiligo.[5]

Alopecia Areata Treatment Options

There is no cure for alopecia areata and there are few treatment options currently available. Depending on the extent of hair loss, there are medications available such as corticosteroids or topical Minoxidil.

Androgenetic Alopecia is a genetically determined condition characterized by hair miniaturization in a well-defined “M” pattern. Hair is lost above the temples, and recedes and thins at the top, progressing into partial or complete baldness. [6] In men, this is commonly referred to as male-pattern baldness and in females as female-pattern baldness.

Causes of Androgenetic Alopecia

It is likely that there are both genetic and environmental factors that cause androgenetic alopecia. This form of hair loss is associated with hormones called androgens.

Androgenetic Alopecia Treatment Options

There is no cure for androgenetic alopecia. The progression of the condition varies in each individual. Available treatments include topical Minoxidil and for men, oral Finasteride.


[2] Gilhar , A., A. Etzioni and R. Paus (2012). "Alopecia Areata." New England Journal of Medicine 366(16): 1515-1525.

[3] Hordinsky, M. K. (2013). "Overview of Alopecia Areata." Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings 16(1): S13-S15.


[5] Hordinsky, M. K. (2013). "Overview of Alopecia Areata." Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings 16(1): S13-S15.


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