average person sheds 50 to 100 strands of hair a day. Unfortunately, that rate is remarkably higher for over 80 million people in the United States. Within the group of 80 million that suffer from hair loss, 6.8 million people suffer from a disease called Alopecia. Some of you might have a vague idea of what Alopecia is, and others might know it all too well.
Buckle in, because we are going to learn a thing or two about this condition, in order to bring more awareness into our lives, and into yours!
Alopecia is an autoimmune skin disease, causing hair loss on the scalp, face and body. It has no boundaries, and affects people of all ages, sexes, and ethnicity. It is often first noticed during childhood, and can play out differently for everyone who has it.
Typically, a person's immune system protects the body against infection and disease. With an autoimmune disease, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks some part of its own body. In the case of Alopecia, the immune system (white blood cells) falsely attacks sections of hair follicles, resulting in the stunting of the hair growth stage. These affected follicles develop into extremely small strands, drastically slow down production, and no new hair grows on the scalp surface for months or years.
In all of the forms of Alopecia, the hair follicles remain alive. They are ready to resume normal hair production whenever they receive the appropriate signal from the body.
The specific cause of Alopecia has not been identified, although it has been linked to genetics. Scientists suggest that a combination of genes may predispose certain people to Alopecia. In these predisposed people, a trigger (possibly a virus, stress, or psychological trauma) may bring on the disorder.
This is the general term for Alopecia, and it results in round patches of hair loss.
This is characterized by the entirety of hair loss on the scalp.
This results in the complete loss of hair on the scalp and body.
This is characterized by a wave pattern around the edge of the scalp.
This condition results due to long term tension, pulling and damage to the hair follicle and papilla.
Another name for this is "Female/Male Pattern Baldness". This condition is very common among both men and women. In women, the thinning often starts as a widening of the center hair part and the crown.
you are in the collection of people that only lose 50 to 100 strands a day, or you have a personal relationship with Alopecia, we are not too different. By the time women reach age 50, roughly half of us will be dealing with some degree of pattern hair loss. Children are also affected; approximately 3% of all pediatric doctor visits made each year are due to hair loss related issues in children.
I hope this has shed just a bit more light on this condition, and helps your understanding of Alopecia. As cheesy as it is to say, I know it helped me. I was taken aback by some of the things I learned.
If you are surviving with Alopecia, you are not alone in this journey.
Please, feel free to reach out, and find support!
If you are interested in learning more, check out these sites where I gathered my information: