AlopeciaTotalisAlopecia is a pretty scary word, especially if you know very little about it. Many people will have first learnt of Alopecia when Gail Porter famously came out as a sufferer of the condition.

However, despite knowing it causes the hair to fall out, very few people understand more about it. Here you’ll discover the facts behind it and what you should know.

Understanding the different types

Were you aware that there are actually a few different types of Alopecia? It’s a generic word that describes various different types. There’s Alopecia Areata, Androgenetic Alopecia and Alopecia Totalis to name just a few.

Areata causes patchy spots of hair loss, while androgenetic is more commonly referred to as male pattern baldness. Totalis is one of the more advanced types of the condition, causing all of the hair to fall out.

So as you can see, the different types have very different effects on the hair and scalp. It’s important to establish what type you have before you seek treatment.

How common is it?

Alopecia is actually really common. According to the NHS, by the time most men reach 50 years of age, they will have experienced some hair loss. Women on the other hand are likely to experience hair loss after the menopause at around 52 years of age.

What causes it?

Due to how many different types of alopecia there are, there are a lot of different causes. Men who suffer from thinning hair typically do so because of their genetics. However, other types of alopecia can be caused by significant stress and lifestyle factors. Even some types of medication can lead to the condition.

Lesser known facts

One particular thing many people don’t know about alopecia is that it doesn’t always just affect the hair on your head. It can also cause your eyelashes to fall out, or even the hairs in the nose. This can lead to a number of additional health problems.

If the eyelashes fall out, there will be nothing to stop dust and dirt getting into the eyes. If the nose hairs fall out, you could end up with a dripping nose.

Overall Alopecia is a very misunderstood condition. With so many different types out there, it’s really important to see a doctor if you do start to experience hair loss. They will be able to diagnose the type of hair loss you’re experiencing and recommend the most effective treatment.

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By Ian Watson

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