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Alopecia areata

Names

Description

Alopecia areata
 

Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles , which is where hair growth begins. The damage to the follicle is usually not permanent. Experts do not know why the immune system attacks the follicles.

Prevalence

0.15%
500,000 persons in the US

Typical Age of onset

Mainly under age 30, but can occur in older persons

Symptoms

  • Patchy hair loss, mostly on the scalp but can involve eyebrows, eyelashes, beards

  • “Exclamation mark” hairs that get narrower at the bottom, like an exclamation mark.

  • Widespread hair loss

  • Finger- and toe-nails have dents, white spots, and roughness

Professional Associations