Alopecia; types, causes, and treatment

Man with Alopecia

Alopecia is a condition that is not talked about enough in the country. And it is one that affects quite a number of people. This condition is no respecter of age or gender, it affects the young and the old, male, and female. According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, it affects 147 million people worldwide.

Now, loosing hair is normal, in fact, an average human loses about 50-100 hairs every day. But sometimes, it becomes an issue, like in the case of alopecia.

Alopecia, types and causes

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune illness that causes hair loss on the head, face, and sometimes other parts of the body. When you have this condition, your immune system attacks your hair follicles.

This condition can result in complete hair loss on the scalp, in which it is called alopecia totalis. The hair loss could also be spread across the entire body, in this case, it is known as alopecia universalis. In alopecia areata patchy, hair loss happens in patchy segments across the scalp or body. This is the most common type of the condition.

Traction Alopecia
Traction Alopecia (source: ebena.net)

Another type that is common among black women is traction alopecia. You get this when you constantly put a lot of tension on your hair. You can do this by constantly making buns, wearing hair rollers to bed

If you have this condition, it is possible for your hair to grow back. But then many times it just falls off again later on. The extent to which this happens varies from person to person

Alopecia happens when your immune system starts seeing your hair follicles as a threat to the body. What triggers this attack is not known. It might be caused by something in the body like a virus or bacteria. Or alternatively, it might be an environmental factor, or maybe even a combination of both.

In Nigeria, there is improper training of local hairdressers on how to handle hair. this has been pointed out as a reason for hair loss among Nigerian women. Applying harsh chemicals to your hair can also be a factor.

The genetics of how alopecia is passed on is complicated. So you cannot be sure if you will pass it on to your child or children. There is a chance though.

Alopecia treatment

There is no cure for alopecia right now, but there are a variety of treatments that can work to regrow your hair. There are several ointments like Minoxidil and Anthralin that can help to regrow hair.

Steroid injections have also been found effective to grow hair for those with patchy alopecia. The drug is injected directly into the bald spots to spur hair growth. Cortisone tablets taken orally could also help with more severe cases. But it comes with side effects, and you should discuss it with your doctor before taking it.

And for those with lots of money, you might want to look into hair transplant surgery. This surgery involves taking hair from one part of your head to the bald parts.

Hairstyle that cause tension
Box Braids – tension causing hairstyle (source: ebena.net)

You might also consider reducing how often you make certain hairstyles that are putting tension on your hair. Also, you can use topical creams rich in vitamins A, B, C, and D. They are all vitamins that help with hair growth, one way or another

Alopecia Areata Awareness Month

The month of September is set aside for alopecia awareness all over the world. It is a month where communities come together to support the cause and educate people on this condition.

In Nigeria, there are many myths and misconceptions about hair loss. This makes it difficult for people with alopecia to get the treatment they require and live a stigma-free life.

This should not be so, we should not shame people dealing with hair loss. It is a genetic condition that no one asked for. And one that does not make anyone less than they are. If you want a proper treatment for this condition, Vinci Hair Clinic might be able to help you. Stay safe, and carry your hairless body with pride.

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Segun is an ardent lover of fashion, reading and writing. When Segun isn't swimming baking or cooking he is punching away keys somewhere on the African continent. He is a creative with a penchant for finding (and in some cases creating) new and interesting ways of doing things. For more details, send an email to info@healthfacts.ng

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