There are few things more alarming than seeing more hair than usual in your brush or in the shower drain, and noticing bald patches on your head. You could be dealing with a condition known as alopecia. It’s not talked about much, but it is more common than you might think: almost 7 million Americans live with it.
Dr. Alexis Stephens and the Parkland Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery team treat alopecia sensitively and with expertise gained from years of specialized training and experience. They want you to know that there are treatments available to help you.
Some alopecia facts
Alopecia areata is actually an autoimmune disease that causes your hair to fall out in clumps because your immune system attacks your hair follicles. The amount of hair loss sufferers experience varies, and sometimes it grows back permanently, while other people affected lose hair repeatedly in the same spot.
Rarer forms of alopecia can cause you to lose all the hair on your head and on your body, but the most common form is marked by random hair loss in varying degrees.
Sometimes patients lose more hair during the winter months, and another side effect can be discolored, pitted, and brittle nails. Often patients report that prior to losing a hair clump, they feel tingling, burning, or itching.
There’s definitely a genetic link pertaining to the disease, but you’re also more likely to experience alopecia if you have asthma, thyroid disease, seasonal allergies, type 1 diabetes, and other conditions. Frequently, symptoms are first seen in childhood, but both men and women who are otherwise completely healthy are diagnosed as adults as well.
Hair and self-esteem
There’s no question that our hair impacts our self-esteem. The National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF) notes that people with the condition experience:
- Feelings of isolation
- Reduced self-esteem
The good news is that effective treatments exist, and Dr. Stephens has helped many patients regain their confidence by restoring their hair.
What alopecia treatments work?
Dr. Stephens offers several proven treatments for those who are tired of living by the cruel whims of their alopecia. Even though your hair can regrow after you lose it, it’s important to feel a sense of control again over your hair and hair growth. Treatments can help with that.
Since alopecia affects everyone differently, the fact that Dr. Stephens creates individualized treatment plans is even more important when treating this particular condition. Your treatment plan may involve:
- Topical medications
- Oral medications
- Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP)
Topical medications subdue your immune system, minimizing or stopping its assault on your hair follicles, while oral medications and injections are often used if you suffer from extensive hair loss.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP is an exciting treatment where we draw a small amount of your blood, reconstitute it in a centrifuge so its most healing agents are concentrated into a serum, and we then inject it into your scalp to improve blood flow and reinforce your follicles.
This innovative treatment is used for many conditions because it’s systemic and harnesses your body’s own power to heal, especially useful in treating an autoimmune condition like alopecia.
Banish those bald patches
We’re here to help you restore your lustrous head of hair with progressive treatments. Call our office or use our convenient online booking tool. We’re also scheduling virtual visits and consultations when appropriate, for your ease and safety.