Alopecia Areata Symptoms
People with alopecia areata signs and symptoms generally enjoy good health -- this condition does not cause any physical pain. The most common symptom is a few bare patches of hair loss. However, in rare cases, symptoms can include complete loss of hair on the head or complete loss of hair on the face and body. Symptoms often occur in people whose family members have other autoimmune diseases, like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.
It is important to note that alopecia areata is not a life-threatening disease. It does not cause any physical pain, and people with alopecia areata symptoms are generally in good health.
The most common symptom of alopecia areata is hair loss, in which the hair usually falls out in small, round patches about the size of a quarter. Although many people with alopecia areata get only a few bare patches, some people may lose more hair. In rare cases, the condition can progress to complete loss of hair on the head (alopecia areata totalis) or complete loss of hair on the head, face, and body (alopecia areata universalis).
In cases of alopecia areata universalis, loss of eyelashes and eyebrows, as well as hair in the nose and ears, can make the person more vulnerable to dust, germs, and foreign particles entering the eyes, nose, and ears.
Alopecia areata often occurs in people whose family members have other autoimmune diseases, such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Thyroid disease
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus or SLE)
- Pernicious anemia
- Addison's disease.
People who have symptoms of alopecia areata do not usually have other autoimmune diseases. However, they may have: