Alopecia areata is the loss of hair in circular or oval patterns from the scalp or other areas such as the beard or eyebrows. The bald patches are usually the size of a coin in the initial stage. However, as this condition progresses, it can cause complete hair loss in some individuals.
Alopecia areata is a common skin disorder; about one percent of the total population gets affected by this condition at any time. However, it is reversible hair loss as the hair follicles (the structure consisting of roots of the air) do not get damaged.
What Is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia is derived from the Latin word that means baldness, and areata means patchy hair loss. Therefore, alopecia areata is a condition that causes hairless patches on the scalp or any hairy part of the skin. It is a recurring autoimmune disorder (in which the immune system of the body attacks its own cells). More than one bald spot can occur on the scalp, and other body parts such as eyebrows, eyelashes, beard areas, or pubic areas can also get affected.
Alopecia areata can affect people of any age but is usually seen in early childhood and adulthood.
What Are the Types of Alopecia Areata?
There are three types of alopecia areata, which include -
Alopecia Totalis - In this type, hair loss can be seen on the whole scalp.
Alopecia Universalis - In this type, complete hair loss can occur all over the body, including the scalp, beard, eyelashes, eyebrows, armpits, and groin area.
Traction Alopecia - In this type, hair loss occurs due to mechanical pulling of the hair. This condition can be reversed if treated on time.
What Are the Causes of Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia can occur due to multiple factors, which include:
Genetic Factors - Multiple genes have been considered to cause the alopecia areata that are associated with the immune system of the body. The genes responsible for modifying the immune system and targeting the hair follicles belong to the HLA group. (human leukocyte antigen).
Hormonal Factors - Certain hormonal disturbances in the body can also be linked with alopecia. It has been found that alopecia can occur during various stages of life where hormones play an important role, such as puberty, menopause, and during pregnancy or after delivery.
Chemicals - Long-term use of cosmetics such as shampoos, conditioners, and serums that contain ether, sulfur, or paraben-based can damage the hair follicles.
Physical Factors - Tying the hair tightly for a longer duration can cause the hairline to regress.
Fungal Infections - Certain fungal infections, such as seborrheic dermatitis and tinea capitis, are the skin conditions causing patchy hair loss on the scalp. However, hair loss can be treated after treating underlying fungal infections.
Other Associated Conditions - Certain autoimmune skin diseases such as psoriasis (skin condition causing itchy and scaly rashes on knees, elbows, and scalp), atopic dermatitis (eczema - a condition causing dry, itchy, and inflamed skin), and lichen planus (a condition characterized by inflamed or irritated skin, nails, hair or mucous membranes).
What Are the Symptoms of Alopecia Areata?
The symptom of alopecia areata includes bald patches, and the most commonly affected areas include the scalp and face (beard area), but it can also involve other body parts. There can be multiple bald patches, which can be round in shape and smooth to the touch. Some other symptoms of alopecia areata include:
Pinpoint hair (resembling exclamation sign), growth at the margin of bald patches.
Irritation or itching in the bald spots.
How Does Homeopathy Help in Alopecia Areata?
Various conventional therapies help treat hair loss, including supplements that help promote hair growth. Moreover, various other treatment modalities, such as hair transplants or transfers, can also help regrowth.
However, homeopathy treats each individual as a unique case and considers every aspect of the patient, such as physical, mental, emotional, and social. Every person is treated as unique. In addition, it optimizes the immune system of the body to treat the condition and provides an effective and permanent solution.
What Is the Homeopathic Treatment for Alopecia Areata?
Various homeopathic medicine can be used to treat conditions like alopecia areata, including:
1. Arsenic Album - This is a recommended medicine for alopecia areata, which helps in treating circular bald patches along with itching and burning of the scalp.
2. Vinca Minor - Another medicine that can be used to treat alopecia areata in cases where hair falls by replacing the spots with white hair. Along with that, itching of the scalp can also be treated with this medicine.
3. Lycopodium Clavatum - This medicine has a broad action area and is prepared from club moss. This can be used in patients with premature greying of hair or baldness or patients with itchy scalps due to dandruff.
4. Fluoric Acid - This is among the top graded medicine for alopecia areata, which helps in the regrowth of the hair in bald patches.
5. Phosphorus - This performs well in young people and is indicated as a valuable medicine in the treatment of alopecia areata. It works well in cases with falling hair in large bunches leaving behind bald patches. Dandruff with severe itching and dry and scaly scalp. It also helps in traction alopecia, where receding hairline can be seen. Therefore, it works well in treating frontal baldness.
6. Kalium Bichromicum - This is prepared from the potentisation or dilution of salt potassium bicarbonate. This deep-acting medicine helps treat hair fall and dandruff with itching and helps in hair regrowth.
7. Thuja Occidentalis - In cases with diffuse hair loss along with dandruff on the scalp, patchy hair loss, and coming out of handfuls of hair while combing or washing, this medicine can be used.
8. Calcarea Carbonicum - This medicine can be used in cases where excessive perspiration of the scalp or head occurs. Also, the head always feels hot, hair falls in bunches, and pain occurs in the roots of the hair.
9. Pulsatilla Nigricans - This medicine is usually given to females with hair fall in patches, pain, and itching in the scalp, mainly on the area behind the ears.
Homeopathic medicines for alopecia areata act on the immune system of the body and restore abnormal function. The medicines will also help control the symptoms without causing side effects. Homeopathic treatment is unique for every person and customized to every patient. And the patient will feel lesser hair fall and improved hair quality and texture following it.