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Alopecia is the medical name given to some forms of hair loss.

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This most commonly affects the scalp in both men and women, and it’s usually the most obvious symptom. However, the term can refer to hair loss anywhere on the body.

For many people, alopecia is a traumatic experience that can have an impact on their mental health as much as anything else. Our doctors are able to identify the type of alopecia you’re suffering from and outline ways to treat the problem.

There are two main types of alopecia, alopecia areata and scarring alopecia. You’ll find information on both conditions below, or you can chat to a doctor right away to find out what’s causing your hair loss.

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Alopecia Areata Symptoms and Causes

Alopecia areata is caused by a problem with your immune system. It results in patches of hair falling out, while in some cases, it can cause total baldness.

It is most commonly found in teenagers and people in their twenties, but it can strike at any age.

You may be more likely to develop alopecia areata if you have a pre-existing autoimmune condition, such as diabetes or an overactive thyroid, while it’s thought around 20 per cent of sufferers have a family history of alopecia.

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Alopecia Areata: Treatment

With this form of alopecia, hair will often grow back on its own after a couple of months. It may be thinner and paler at first, but your natural thickness and colour is likely to return over time.

In some cases, this can be sped along with a steroid-based medication, such as a cream, ointment or injection. This is designed to stimulate hair regrowth.

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Scarring Alopecia: Symptoms and Causes

Scarring alopecia happens as a result of a complication with another medical condition, usually one that affects the skin or nerves. In this case, your hair follicles become permanently damaged, meaning hair can’t grow back.

This type of alopecia affects both men and women, and accounts for seven per cent of hair loss cases.

Scarring Alopecia: Treatment

Unfortunately, there is currently nothing that can make your hair grow back if you suffer from scarring alopecia. However, there are services available to help you deal with your condition, from mental health support to advice around wigs or potential surgical options.

Speak to one of our doctors today to find out what your options are.