September is Alopecia Awareness Month so I have decided to write a post and answer the question “What is Alopecia” as best I can, for those of you that don’t know.
“Alopecia is a general term used for hair loss; this can be a small bald patch on the head or the loss of all the hair over the entire body” As quoted on the Alopecia UK website here.
There are many types of Alopecia:
Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis, Alopecia Universalis, Alopecia Barbae, Androgenetic Alopecia, Scarring Alopecias, Traction Alopecia, Anagen Effluvium, Telogen Effluvium. More information on these can be found here.
Currently I am diagnosed as having Alopecia Areata. Alopecia Areata is described as an autoimmune condition, this basically means that my immune system has gotten confused. Instead of just protecting my body from foreign invaders (viruses and bacteria etc.) it has attacked the hair follicles. This is essentially what leads to the hair loss.
There is no cure for Alopecia. Although there are treatments offered, none of these are guaranteed to work. With Alopecia Areata the condition is not permanent and hair growth is likely. If the condition progresses to Alopecia Totalis (Total loss of hair from scalp) or Alopecia Universalis (Total loss of hair from body) there is less of a chance of hair regrowth.
According to the NHS website Alopecia Areata can occur at any age, but mostly affects teenagers and young adults. It affects one or two people in every 1000 in the UK.
To finish I will leave you with a picture of Aoife looking cute in her Alopecia UK t-shirt and me in my Alopecia UK buff (These can be purchased from their Ebay store).
Thank you for reading,