In the United States, approximately 4.6 million people are affected by alopecia. This condition is characterized by hair loss on the scalp or body. About five percent of people with the condition lose all of their hair.
This condition results from the hair follicles being attacked by white blood cells. Over time, the follicles get smaller and this results in slowed production of hair. Exactly what triggers the white blood cells to attack remains unknown.
In addition to your hair, your nails may also be affected by alopecia. This could affect your fingernails or toenails. Symptoms might include:
- Pinpoint dents
- Splitting and thinning
- Lines and white spots
- Losing shine
Possible Treatment Options
While there is no direct cure, there are treatment options that can be effective. Corticosteroids to suppress the immune system and fight inflammation are commonly used. These may be given orally, by applying an ointment directly to the affected area or via local injections.
Doctors may suggest certain other medications to affect the immune system or to promote the growth of hair. Hair transplants are also a potential treatment option.
Alopecia can be difficult to deal with, so it is important to talk to an experienced dermatologist as soon as you notice symptoms. To learn more and to speak to a doctor, contact Kessel Dermatology today. We are ready to answer your questions and help you in any way we can.