What is alopecia?
Rep. Ayanna Pressley bravely opened up about her alopecia, a condition that affects 7 million Americans but that many hide.
The most common form of hair loss
What is alopecia?
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system attacks the hair follicles. It results in the loss of hair on the scalp or other part of the body. The condition can affect anyone regardless of age, gender and race. 50% of black women experience some form of hair loss according to John Hopkins University research. Some cases of alopecia can be associated with stress, shock and bereavement according to Harper’s Bazaar magazine.
“Some people will notice a widened part and then patients that have acute hair loss can have redness itching or pain in the scalp sometimes tenderness. Treatment options can span from watchful waiting for your immune system or for your level of stress to improve or can go all the way to systemic oral treatment that suppress your immune system. Hair regrowth depends on the type of alopecia you have. So, a non-scarring alopecia does grow back. It does take time hair grows very very slowly”, Dermatologist Mary-Margaret Noland tells Brut. “There are many types of hair loss or alopecia. In dermatology we classify them into either scarring, which means you’ve lost some follicles, and damage to scalp so hair doesn’t grow back. Or you can have non-scarring alopecia where hair is thinned with time or you’re getting too much shedding”, Dermatologist Dr. Chere Lucas Anthony tells Brut.
Nearly 7 million Americans and 147 million people worldwide have alopecia based on data from the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. Other celebrities haver revealed their own alopecia like Neve Campbell, Viola Davis, Christopher Reeves, and Tyra Banks. Jada Pinkett-Smith discussed it in her Facebook series, Red Table Talk. There is no permanent cure for alopecia areata but a series of corticosteroid injections can treat the disorder.