This condition affects 4% of the population and can affect men, women and children of any age or Ethnicity. This condition is auto-immune and is often triggered by an emotive situation; this can occur up to 3 months before the appearance of the patch of hair loss. This may also present with pitting or ridges to the fingernails and can cause the eyebrows to thin also. There are several forms of this condition:
- Alopecia Areata can cause a single small patch or several patches of varying size, and occasionally, these join together to cover an extensive area of the scalp.
- Alopecia Totalis which causes the whole scalp hair to fall.
- Oophiasic Alopecia Areata, The prognosis of this condition is not good as it rarely re-grows and can cause the whole hairline (front and back) to fall out.
- Alopecia Universalis causes every single hair on the body to fall, often overnight. An example of this would be Duncan Goodhue, who had a shock bereavement.
Afro-Caribbean Hair Alopecia Areata Treatment
This condition can be treated in the clinic and at home with the use of stimulants, ultraviolet light therapy (which causes an auto-immune response and hairs grow as a reaction), and massage. In black hair Alopecia Areata, we are against the use of intralesional and topical steroids, as any hair that regrows from these injections rarely remains. There are occasions where the use of hair pieces and wigs is advised for the short term- this often breaks the emotions connected to being an AA patient, and hair growth can resume.
Specialist black hair pieces and wig companies can be recommended via this clinic.