Introduction To Alopecia
continuing array of emotions to which alopecia patients are subject, there is a
vast pool of education and support resources to aid the alopecia patient.
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Alopecia areata is a highly unpredictable,
autoimmune skin disease resulting in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere
on the body. This common but very challenging and capricious disease affects
approximately 1.7 percent of the population overall, including more than 4
million people in the United States alone. Due to the fact that much of the
public is still not familiar with alopecia areata, the disease can have a
profound impact on one's life and functional status, both at work and at school.
In alopecia areata, the
affected hair follicles are attacked by a person's own immune system
resulting in the arrest of the hair growth stage. Alopecia areata usually starts
with one or more small, round, smooth bald patches on the scalp and can progress
to total scalp hair loss (alopecia totalis) or complete body hair loss (alopecia
Alopecia areata occurs in males
and females of all ages and races; however, onset most often begins in childhood
and can be psychologically devastating. Although not life-threatening, alopecia
areata is most certainly life-altering, and its sudden onset, recurrent
episodes, and unpredictable course have a profound psychological impact on the
lives of those disrupted by this disease. For more information see
The three paragraphs above are from the National Alopecia Areata Foundation
web site at
Coping With Hair Loss
Many other Web sites address the hair loss
and emotions encountered with alopecia, such as the NAAF with the above link.
The Web site is comprehensive with links to support groups, etc.