Over 6 million Americans are impacted by Alopecia Areata, and nearly 2% of people across the world will experience alopecia. That’s according to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF). Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease. This means the body’s immune system mistakes the healthy tissues as dangerous and attacks them. September is the month for Alopecia areata awareness.
The word alopecia means bald, and Areata means patchy. The National Alopecia Areata Foundation states the disease can cause hair loss on the scalp, face, legs, and under the arm. People may lose hair in coin-sized patches, but in some severe cases they may lose all of their hair.
People of all ages, gender and races can be affected, but research shows women are more likely to develop the disease.
There is no current cure for alopecia areata, however NAAF states the hair follicles are still alive, and hair regrowth can still happen.
For more information on symptoms and treatment click here.
Dealing with Alopecia Areata
Alopecia doesn’t just impact the hair, it can also trigger depression.
NAAF quotes over 30% of people with alopecia have been diagnosed with depression. Here are ways to stay mentally healthy while dealing with the disease.
According to research by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, stress can trigger hair loss. Exercise, meditation and eating healthy can assist in reducing stress. For more serious cases, try talking to your doctor about possible medications. For more information about stress and hair loss click here.
Talk to close friends and family:
Loneliness is a symptom of depression that many with alopecia face. Having a support system is one way to fight this factor. Researchers suggest when you feel comfortable, try talking to family members or friends about your experiences. It can also help to educate those close to you about the disease.
Join a support group:
Although having a familial support system is important, it can also be beneficial to be around those who have alopecia areata as well. NAAF has resources to find a support group.
Find creative ways to regain confidence:
Alopecia Areata can impact how you view your physical appearance, but don’t allow it to ruin your self-confidence. If comfortable try wearing a wig, hairpiece, or scarf. Wig shopping can be a fun and creative way to change up your style. For tips on finding your first wig click here. Wearing a wig with alopecia is optional, you can confidently embrace your natural look with pride.
Reaching out to a healthcare professional is essential when dealing with any disease. For additional tips on living with alopecia areata click here.
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