March 24, 2010

What is Alopecia Areata?

I've talked about my experiences regarding Alopecia many-a-time on this little blog, but I don't think I've actually explained what it is.

Here is the definition according to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF):

"Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune skin disease resulting in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. It usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth patches on the scalp and can progress to total scalp hair loss (alopecia totalis) or complete body hair loss (alopecia universalis).

Alopecia areata affects approximately two percent of the population overall, including more than 4.7 million people in the United States alone. This common skin disease is highly unpredictable and cyclical. Hair can grow back in or fall out again at any time, and the disease course is different for each person."

Basically, my body thinks my hair is something foreign, thus trying to fight it off. (That's where the "autoimmune" aspect comes in.)

To learn more, go here. To connect with others that have Alopecia, you can go here.

1 Happy Thoughts:

Daddio said...

One thing...We first noticed your hair fall out when you were about 6 months old. Being our first child, we thought this was a normal phase. It came back within a month or so, so we never gave it a thought until you were in 5th grade, and the real-deal manifested itself.
Dad