Alopecia Areata is a condition in which patients develop small round patches of hair loss. These patches usually grow back on their own or may persist for years. It is most common in people with a family history of the disease.
In alopecia areata, the body’s immune system attacks the root of the hair for unknown reasons. While most people get 1 or 2 small patches on their head, a rare minority of people can lose all of their scalp (alopecia totalis) and body hair (alopecia universalis). Nails may develop tiny pinpoint dents. Alopecia Areata is not associated with any systemic health issues, but people with the disease may be more prone to allergies, asthma, eczema, thyroid dysfunction and vitiligo.
Alopecia Areata usually gets better by itself, but the timing is unpredictable. While there is no cure, the most common treatment is injection of corticosteroids into the affected areas to speed hair recovery.