For centuries, our hair has always been considered our crowning glory. For men, it is a reminder that, like Samson, healthy hair would symbolize strength and courage. For women, luscious locks would symbolize beauty and confidence. That’s why when it comes to our hair, we buy the best hair products, or even undergo salon treatments just to maintain shiny and healthy locks.
Unfortunately for some people, it is a lot more difficult to achieve. These people are those who have succumbed to problems with their hair and scalp. One of them are people with Alopecia Areata.
What is Alopecia Areata?
It is normal for a person to experience hair fall regularly. On average, an adult loses about 50 to 100 strands of hair, or even up to 150, each day. Often, we find this phenomenon a reason to worry and would find the best methods to reverse the problem.
For people with Alopecia Areata, it is an entirely different thing altogether. Alopecia Areata is characterized by an autoimmune disease associated with excessive hair loss. In the United States, approximately 7 million people are affected by this condition. When a person is suffering from Alopecia Areata, the autoimmune disease attacks the hair follicles resulting in the excessive hair loss.
The amount of hair loss for people with Alopecia Areata would vary for most cases. Generally, it starts with hair falling out in small clumps. When this happens, the loss of hair leaves bald spots. For others, they would lose their entire hair altogether. There are also cases where the hair can fall out but grows back again later while others grow back permanently.
What are the causes of Alopecia Areata?
Abnormal Immune System
Recent scientific studies show evidence that Alopecia Areata occurs when a person’s immune system is not working normally than most. When our immune system is not working properly, it attacks itself and then damages certain tissues in the body. For people suffering from Alopecia Areata, the hair follicles gets attacked by their own immune system. This then disturbs normal hair growth causing excessive hair loss.
There are also some evidence that points to the genes being one of the causes of alopecia areata. For people with a family history of autoimmune diseases have higher risks of developing alopecia areata.
Many health practitioners have also theorized on the fact that living with too much anxiety and stress can also trigger symptoms. Although not directly causing the condition, stress is associated because of its ability to weaken our immune system. This then makes our body susceptible to foreign invaders.
What signs and symptoms indicate alopecia areata?
Alopecia areata is usually common among adults 30 years old and above. The clear sign of this condition shows large patches in the head will start to lose hair. In worse cases, some may even lose hair in any region of the body that is present with hair. Moreover, when a person loses hair, it is usually very sudden.
Most people would recover from alopecia within a year, but others can experience at random intervals. A person with alopecia areata can also notice that the nails on their fingers and toes also gets affected. Often, this is one of the first few clear signs that the condition is slowly occurring. These changes are usually the following:
- An appearance of white lines and spots
- The nails become rough
- The nails start to lose their shine
- The nails appear thin and tend to crack and split
How is Alopecia Areata diagnosed?
It is usually easy for doctors to recognize alopecia areata through examining the symptoms. They usually diagnose the condition by looking at the amount of hair loss as well as evaluate the affected hair through the microscope.
How is Alopecia Areata treated?
There isn’t a known cure for alopecia areata. However, when a doctor diagnoses a person with the condition, a skin biopsy is performed. Moreover, the person might need to take a blood test should there be any chances of an autoimmune disease.
Although the symptoms of alopecia areata are distinctive, it is also unpredictable.
However, there are also natural ways to reduce the symptoms of alopecia areata. Here are five home remedies you can try to manage excessive hair.
- Try garlic or onion juice
What makes this two herbs an ideal home treatment is the amount of nutrients it has to help treat alopecia areata. The high sulfur content in onion and garlic helps counter free radical damage thus increasing hair growth. It can also help in proper blood circulation and fights infections in the scalp.
Just crush a few onion bulbs and garlic cloves and squeeze out the juice. You can then mix the juice in coconut oil or your shampoo and apply on your scalp for a few minutes.
- Use rosemary and lavender oil
Essential oils have been used for centuries in gaining health benefits. Both rosemary and lavender oil have contents that can help treat alopecia areata. This is through the oils that help strengthen hair follicles aiding in growth aside from the calming effects they have.
Just add lavender or rosemary oil with coconut or almond oil and apply on your scalp.
- Use honey
For many years, there are a lot of remedial uses for organic honey for a good cause. It can also help with hair loss while fighting infections in the body. Using honey regularly for an extended period can actually help control loss of hair while also boosting your immune system.
Just add honey to a lemon, onion or garlic juice and massage on the scalp. Leave it on for fifteen minutes before washing off.
- Use green tea
There are also plenty of health benefits with green tea. It is also one of the simplest remedies for alopecia areata. It is because of green tea’s antioxidant properties as well as polyphenols that help fight infections, boost immune system and strengthen hair follicles.
Boil green tea and let it cool. Use a towel or cotton cloth and dip into it then apply on the scalp repeatedly.
- Take plenty of Vitamin C
With Vitamin C’s natural ability to get boost immunity, eating foods rich in the vitamin can also help treat hair loss associated with alopecia areata. This vitamin is usually found in green, leafy vegetables and citrus fruits.
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