Even if you have never heard the term alopecia, you are most likely familiar with its effects. Alopecia is the general term used to describe many different types of hair loss.

Hair loss affects millions of people around the world. But did you know that there are different types of hair loss? Alopecia is a common cause of several types of hair loss. This guide will help you learn more about alopecia, who it affects, and what treatment options are available.

Alopecia is a hair loss disease that can occur suddenly or over time and affects males and females of all ages. 

Quick facts, types of alopecia, and treatment options

Common Types of Alopecia

Losing more hair than you are used to losing can be unsettling, regardless of age or gender. The first step to hair restoration involves identifying the type of alopecia you have.

Here are just a few common types of alopecia:

  • Androgenetic: This is the most common variation found in men. It results in hair thinning on the top and front of the scalp, and it is often hereditary.
  • Areata: This type of alopecia manifests itself when a person loses patches of hair around the face and head.
  • Totalis: This results in complete hair loss only on the face and head.
  • Universalis: This is a rare variation, and it leads to a complete loss of hair all over the body.

In most cases, the symptoms do not physically hurt. However, some people struggle with their alopecia and become self-conscious about their appearances.

The Reaches of Alopecia

Alopecia affects both men and women of all ethnicities. Unfortunately, doctors do not fully understand how or why people develop alopecia; however, they do know it is an autoimmune disorder stemming from a combination of the patient's environmental influences and his or her genetic makeup. The disease begins when immune cells target hair follicles in their growth phase. This attack keeps the hair from growing.

How Many People Have Alopecia?

According to the American Association of Dermatology, roughly 80 million people in the United States deal with some form of hair loss or hair thinning.

Luckily, alopecia is not life-threatening, nor is it physically painful. The loss of hair, however, can make people self-conscious about their appearance and has been linked to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.

How to Know You Have Alopecia

Because there are so many variations of alopecia, not to mention plenty of treatment options, it's best to consult a professional dermatologist or hair doctor who can tell you which type you have and help you determine your best treatment option.

If you have noticed a consistent loss of hair that is heavier than normal, and you think you could be suffering from hair loss, the best time to seek treatment is now. The sooner you treat your alopecia, the better restoration results you will enjoy.

Usually, a dermatologist or other hair doctor will help diagnose you. The way a dermatologist would diagnose this condition is either visually or through a microscope.

Treatment for alopecia depends on the type of hair loss. For example, rare, serious types of alopecia may not respond to certain treatments whereas mild cases of the disease may resolve themselves, and some people find relief within a few months. Your hair doctor will also diagnose what kind of hair loss you may have and the best treatment.

Alopecia Treatment Options

If you suffer from chronic hair loss, you thankfully have plenty of options for hair restoration. The Hair Center at Helendale offers treatments that can treat hair loss in any form.

Sometimes, a prescription or topical solution will be enough to bring good results. Topical medication usually takes about six months of consistent use to produce any results. It is vital to continue using the medication, or hair thinning can return.

Other options involve hair transplantation. The Hair Center at Helendale uses NeoGraft FUE technology to perform the minimally-invasive procedure that permanently restores hair follicles. We also offer a photo light therapy system or a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment.

Regardless of how alopecia might affect you, you have plenty of options.

The Specialist You Need

Dr. Arthur at the Hair Center at Helendale is an experienced dermatologist who has performed numerous hair restoration treatments. She brought both NeoGraft FUE hair transplant technology and PRP treatments to the Rochester area. Her expertise helps those who are uncomfortable with their alopecia regrow their hair and restore their confidence.

To see if she can help you too, request an appointment with Dr. Arthur.