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Treatment of alopecia areata

Your hair is important. The fight against alopecia areata starts here

People struggling with alopecia areata experience damage to the hair follicles, and hair loss occurs as a result. Bald patches begin to appear on the scalp. Initially they are small, often not even noticeable. Over time, however, they increase their range and reach a size of between 5 and 10 centimeters.

Untreated alopecia areata can lead to complete baldness. Eyelashes and eyebrows may also fall out. The problem affects both men and women of all ages. However, the effects of the disease are reversible. At our clinic, we treat different types of alopecia, including alopecia areata.

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What is the treatment of alopecia areata like?

Treatment methods for alopecia areata are essentially numerous. They are selected for the individual patient, depending on the causes of the problem, which are not always clear. Sources of alopecia areata can be atopic dermatitis, autoimmune conditions, genetic factors or hormonal disorders.

After a thorough interview with the patient, the doctor begins the search for the cause of baldness – he inspects the condition of the scalp and orders the necessary tests to make a diagnosis. Treatment may consist of selecting appropriate preparations – usually corticosteroids, regulating the body’s hormonal situation or implementing cosmetology and aesthetic medicine treatments such as mesotherapy or carboxytherapy.

Immunotherapy, which is designed to induce controlled inflammation on the skin, has been very successful in treating alopecia areata. It may also be helpful to implement PUVA treatment, which involves giving the patient agents that increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV rays, to be followed by light therapy.

Indications for treatment

The indications for the treatment of alopecia areata include, first of all, gradually appearing bald patches on the head. For most patients, the hair loss has an exclamation mark character, i.e. it is slightly thinner at the head and shorter. The skin, from which the hair has already fallen out, should not be pathological or reddened, but sometimes patients complain of itching.

A characteristic symptom of the disease, as well as an indication for treatment, is the finding of yellow plugs in the areas of the hair follicles. Alopecia often has a negative impact, also on the mental state of the patient. Sometimes it is accompanied by changes in the nail plate, but this is not the norm.

Contraindications to treatment

Each of the above-mentioned treatment methods is selected by the doctor individually for the patient. The choice of one of the ways is dictated by, among other things, his state of health, the medications he is taking on a regular basis, or the likely cause of the problems. The decision is made on the basis of a thorough history, blood test results, histopathology or trichoscopy.

In the case of PUVA treatment, contraindications to its use may include, for example, pregnancy and lactation, the patient’s too young age, kidney and liver damage or certain ophthalmic diseases. It is also not used for people who have undergone cancer in the past or have an increased risk of developing oncological diseases. The use of photosensitizers other than those administered during treatment or general hypersensitivity to UV radiation may also be contraindications to light therapy.

Glucocorticosteroids are not given to people who suffer from large and unregulated blood pressure disorders, osteoporosis or advanced ophthalmic problems, but this depends on the specific case, as well as the drug used. In contrast, immunotherapy is mostly not used to treat children under 5. year, unless very well justified. It is also contraindicated by HIV infection or the presence of other conditions that prevent the immune system from responding properly to this type of treatment.

The course of the treatment

The course of treatment is closely related to the situation of a particular patient. Usually, treatment begins with a consultation with a dermatologist / trichologist who conducts a very detailed interview on the patient’s observation, symptoms and history of diseases, health condition or currently taken medications.

Then he goes to the inspection of the scalp and orders the necessary tests to be performed. Based on their results, the doctor suggests an appropriate treatment method. In some cases, you can combine them with each other or implement additional treatments in the field of cosmetology and aesthetic medicine, which will accelerate the growth of new hair.

Using several methods at the same time often allows you to see the effects of treatment faster and enjoy healthy, thick hair again. Even after the problem has completely resolved, it is worth remaining under medical supervision, because this disease has a tendency to recur.


Methods of treatment of alopecia areata

The following methods can be used to treat alopecia areata:

  • Glucocorticosteroids – which can be used orally or topically by applying to the skin. Therapies of this kind can also be combined with each other. Steroids are administered in the form of tablets and capsules or ointments, creams and gels. They can have a moderate to very good effect on the skin. They have strong anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects.
  • Immunotherapy – designed to induce the body’s tolerance to a particular allergen. It is well tolerated by most people. It is the best researched treatment for alopecia areata and mostly produces very good results. It involves the topical application of substances designed to provoke an allergic reaction at the site of the bald patch.
  • PUVA treatment – combining the potential of UV radiation in the treatment of dermatological and trichological conditions with photosensitizing drugs that increase the potency of the rays.
  • Hair growth-enhancing therapies – which include carboxytherapy, which involves the subcutaneous administration of carbon dioxide, or mesotherapy, in which the skin is punctured to apply a customized, nourishing cocktail to stimulate hair growth and strengthen it.

Treatment of alopecia areata in a nutshell

Alopecia areata is relatively easy to recognize because it has very specific symptoms. Trichoscopic examinations are recommended if the type of baldness is not known yet.
The treatment of alopecia areata may be different for everyone, due to completely different situations related to the health condition, symptoms of the disease or responding to the proposed treatment.
There are at least several methods of treating alopecia areata, so if there is no response to the implemented measures, if there are no contraindications, further ones can be started.
The disease is treated with light therapy and photosensitizing drugs, individually selected topical or oral steroids, immunotherapy or additional treatments stimulating the growth of new hair.
The treatment process is usually not particularly burdensome for patients. It requires regularity and compliance with medical recommendations, but it is not necessary to perform invasive procedures or tests, after which it would be necessary to observe the convalescence period.

Treatment results

The results of alopecia are ata treatment depend on the method used. For example, immunotherapy with DCP applied to the scalp is estimated to have an 80-90% success rate. If the cause of the problem can be detected and eliminated, for example, by regulating the body’s hormonal situation, the treatment can also be incredibly effective, and the results, in the form of regrowing hair, appear very quickly. However, there are times when alopecia areata will be very difficult to treat, which can take up to 2 years.

It is a condition that requires constant medical supervision, regular examinations and tracking of the progress achieved with the selected form of treatment. If a response to the methods used is observed, one can count on the gradual disappearance of the visibility of bald patches, their overgrowth with new hair and a visible reduction in hair loss.


What is alopecia areata?

Alopecia areata, also known as alopecia, is a condition in which hair falls out in small, round patches. It can affect the scalp and other areas on the body, more here.

Can alopecia areata lead to total baldness?

In some cases, alopecia areata can lead to total baldness (alopecia totalis) or even the loss of all hair on the body (alopecia universalis), but this is not the most common scenario.

Is alopecia areata hereditary?

The incidence of alopecia areata may have some relation to genetics, but this is not the rule. A person with a family history of alopecia areata may have an increased risk of the disease.

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* Przedstawiona treść ma charakter informacyjny i nie stanowi oferty handlowej w rozumieniu Art.66 par.1 Kodeksu Cywilnego.