Alopecia Areata - Effective Treatments

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What is the treatment for alopecia areata?

The course of typical alopecia areata is not predictable with a high likelihood of spontaneous remission. The longer the period of time of hair loss and the larger the area involved, the less likely the hair will regrow. Therefore, there are a variety of treatments, but none of these can confidently be predicted to impact the course of this disease. Steroid injections and steroid creams, lotions and shampoos have been used for many years.

As with many chronic disorders for which there is no single treatment, a variety of remedies are promoted which in fact have no benefit. There is no known effective method of prevention, although the elimination of emotional stress is felt to be helpful. No drugs or hair-care products have been associated with the onset of alopecia areata.

Although not precisely a treatment, the cosmetic camouflage of alopecia areata is certainly an important consideration in patient management. The damaging emotional effect of significant hair loss for both women and men can be considerable.

Previous contributing author: Zoe Diana Draelos, MD, PA

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See what others are saying

Comment from: nk186, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

I have alopecia areata and I have yet to go to the doctor to do blood tests, but I noticed a small bald patch on top of my head a year ago and I did nothing. Then this year it looked bigger so I started to massage my head at night and twice a week use an oil therapy that I massage into my head and sleep with. The next morning I shower and my hair feels soft and my scalp feels good. The oil treatment consists of jojoba oil, coconut oil, almond oil and tea tree oil. Within two months I noticed little tiny hairs growing. I am not sure if this will work for everyone but I do believe for some this disease is a sign of a malnourished scalp. Massage the spot in the shower and before bed. Hope it works for you.

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Comment from: Spotty, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

I am 54 years old and experiencing alopecia areata since last year. I had a sudden period of extreme stress that may have prompted the loss, but had also tried a medicine for a nail fungus around the same time. I see one doctor (a rheumatologist) for a possible lupus diagnosis (lupus is difficult to diagnose) and my primary care doctor was also treating me for hypothyroidism since I was gaining weight, and had increased my dosage from a very low beginning strength to a slight increase. With all of that going on I am not sure what the exact cause of the hair loss was. I stopped all medications immediately. I jokingly told my doctor that I can handle being fat, I"m ok with getting old, but old, fat and bald wasn"t going to work for me. My other doctor did some blood work and suggested I take zinc supplements, and things improved. The nail fungus went away, my hair started re-growing, and I perked up a little despite being off the thyroid medicines. Just this week I noticed a quarter sized spot which is increasing in size, and I"m back online searching for answers. The only changes this time is that I had changed brands of zinc, maybe it"s time to go back to what was working.

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