What is Alopecia Areata, Totalis and Universalis ?
Alopecia is a general term referring to hair loss which usually affect. However there are many different types of Alopecia, each with a different cause and effects on the body and that require different treatments. Alopecia may be localized to the front and top of the head as in common male pattern baldness. It may be Patchy as in a condition called Alopecia Areate. Or it can involve the entire head as in Alopecia Totalis. In worst case, it can even involve the entire body as in Alopecia Universalis.
Alopecia Areata is a common autoimmune disease that results in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere. It usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth patches.
Alopecia Totalis is refers to total 70% to 80% loss of the hair on the scalp. Sometimes, it called Alopecia Capitis Totalis. Alopecia Totalis is thus total baldness of the scalp with normal hair elsewhere on the body.
Alopecia Universalis is the most extreme form of Alopecia results in complete loss not only on the scalp, but also all hair on the entire body including eyebrows, lashes and nose hair.
What causes Alopecia Areata, Totalis and Universalis ?
The most current medical studies have concluded that these three types of alopecia are caused by an abnormality in the immune system. The result is the immune system attacks particular tissues of the body. In alopecia, the affected hair follicles are mistakenly attacked in groups by a person's own immune system (white blood cells), resulting in the halt of the hair growth stage. These affected follicles become very small, drastically slow down prodution, and grow no hair visible above the surface for months or years. The scalp is the most commonly affected area, but the beard or any hair-bearing site can be affected alone or together with the scalp.
Studies have beeen done that show a genetic link for those people who are diagnosed as having alopecia. A good majority of those who develop alopecia have a hereditary gene that could be the possible cause of their hair loss.
Does psychological long-term stress and extreme shock tigger alopecia? Many people with new onset alopecia have had recent stresses in life, such as work, family, deaths, surgeries, accidents, etc.