Alopecia Areata - The Best Products To Use And When
What is alopecia? And how can I treat it?
Today at Cel we’re taking a closer look at alopecia areata: the auto-immune condition where hair starts thinning and falling in patches on the scalp.
But, why does it happen and what can you do about it?
First things first: alopecia areata is usually temporary and re-growth is possible. However, knowing this doesn’t stop it being distressing when it occurs, and onset can be sudden.
In alopecia areata, the hair starts to fall in patches which are typically coin-sized and round, but these patches aren’t usually scaly or inflamed.
Alopecia areata can sometimes additionally affect facial, pubic, limb, eyebrow, and eyelash hair.
You may also feel a tingling in your scalp, and if your eyelashes are falling, your eyes may become more sensitive to weather and dust as eyelashes act as a protective barrier for the eyes.
And yes, usually these patches are noticeable and sufferers can be left feeling self-conscious, embarrassed, and anxious. The condition can also worsen and develop into alopecia universalis where complete hair loss occurs over the scalp and body. Some people with the condition also experience small pits appearing on their fingernails.
Most people with only a few small patches can typically expect regrowth within a year, but if hair loss is significant (over half of the hair) full recovery can be less likely. It is also possible for alopecia areata to reoccur. Any new, regrown hair, can grow back white, too.
The extent of the condition really does vary from case to case.
But why is it happening? Well, some people are genetically predisposed, with around 20% of sufferers having a family history of the condition or similar autoimmune conditions like type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, but the causes of alopecia areata are still not very well understood.
It is thought that alopecia areata occurs when the body’s immune system starts to recognise hair as a threat, and thus attacks the hair follicles from which hair grows.
This is what the body is meant to do with things like infections, viruses, bacteria, and diseases. Scientists and medical professionals are still trying to work out what triggers the body to suddenly begin confusing hair as a menace.
Stress has been linked to alopecia areata, but evidence isn’t conclusive, and although all genders can suffer from it, females are more likely to develop it over males.
Unfortunately, as we still don’t know why the body sometimes suddenly behaves aggressively toward hair in this way, there is no known cure or guaranteed successful treatment.
However, don’t fret, because there are some methods, products (like shampoo!) and treatments you can start to apply to help better the appearance of alopecia areata.
There isn’t significant enough evidence to back any touted treatment for alopecia areata, but claims have been made that supplements have helped with improving the symptoms of the condition.
Some sufferers swear by herbal remedies. These include ginseng, saw palmetto, Chinese hibiscus, and the consumption of probiotics, aloe vera drinks and green tea! Others claim their symptoms have been vastly improved by upping their levels of zinc and biotin.
There are some amazing products out there that specifically target hair thinning and loss, like Cel’s Microstem Shampoo. This shampoo is perfect for those experiencing the symptoms of alopecia areata.
Cel’s Microstem Shampoo is a powerful blend of scientifically-optimised plant extracts, including ginseng, saw palmetto, and biotin, which cleanses and strengthens existing hair whilst promoting thicker-looking hair.
If you’re experiencing alopecia areata, try optimising the products you're using today (like turning to a shampoo that targets alopecia areata symptoms), which will help support the appearance of your hair throughout the condition.
Stimulating the scalp via massage can be a great way of encouraging your alopecia areata affected hair follicles to reactivate. Massaging the scalp with the fingertips increases the blood flow, so more vital nutrients are delivered to them too.
Massage can help reduce stress as well, which has been linked to triggering alopecia areata. Next time you’re lathering your targeting shampoo, move the fingers in a circular motion applying slight pressure all over the scalp!
If you’re experiencing symptoms of alopecia areata, always tell your doctor and obtain a diagnosis. If your symptoms are severe, they can advise on medical treatments like steroid injections, oral immunosuppressants, topical medicated serums and gels, and light therapy.
Alopecia areata can feel distressing, upsetting, and overwhelming: you don’t have to suffer in silence.