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What are the Different Kinds of Alopecia?

Aug 17, 2007
Alopecia is a kind of disease where the autoimmune system of the body attacks the new cells forming in the hair follicles by mistake. Its main characteristic is hair loss that is sudden and random, as well as recurrent in some cases. Alopecia affects both men and women, regardless of age. There are different kinds of alopecia; the variation depends on where the disease occurs in the body, as well as its probable causes.

The different kinds of alopecia are as follows:

1. Alopecia Areata. Alopecia areata is a kind of alopecia that refers to hair loss that occurs in rounded patches. These patches can appear anywhere on the body.

2. Alopecia Totalis. Alopecia totalis refers to the loss of hair on the scalp. As the name suggests, alopecia totalis is total baldness.

3. Alopecia Universalis. Alopecia universalis is a kind of alopecia where the affected person loses all the hair on his or her body.

4. Alopecia Barbae. Alopecia barbae happens only with men. It is the loss of hair on the beard area.

5. Alopecia Mucinosa. Alopecia mucinosa happens when the hair loss is accompanied by the appearance of scaly patches on the skin.

6. Anagen Effluvium. Anagen effluvium is hair loss that is commonly associated with chemotherapy and with taking certain kinds of medication. In anagen effluvium, the hair falls off in patches, although it grows back as soon as the chemotherapy or the consumption of certain drugs is stopped.

7. Telogen Effluvium. Telogen effluvium is also called temporary hair loss. It happens when the amount of hair being shed is more than normal and the hair visibly thins.

8. Androgenetic Alopecia. Androgenetic alopecia is the type of alopecia that is considered hereditary. It is also known as male pattern baldness, although it can also affect women. In androgenetic alopecia, the hair on the scalp turns nearly transparent before falling off.

9. Scarring Alopecia. Scarring alopecia happens when the hair shedding leaves the skin scarred.

10 Traction Alopecia. When a person is prone to pulling too much at his or her hair due to styling perhaps or personal habits, the excessive pulling can discourage the hair follicles to stop developing new cells for new hair. The shedding that occurs as a result is called traction alopecia.

There are varying causes for each of these different kinds of alopecia, and doctors normally isolate the cause for the ailment while examining the patient. The patient should, therefore, be honest and transparent with his or her attending doctor so that alopecia, regardless of what kind it is that is affecting the patient, would be treated properly.
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