Hair Loss (Alopecia Areata)
A number of medical conditions may result in hair loss. Alopecia areata is a disease that affects the hair follicles, which results in a cease in hair production. Alopecia areata will typically cause hair to fall out in small, round patches about the size of a quarter.
Alopecia areata is a form of autoimmune disease, in which the body's immune system attacks the hair follicles, which ultimately leads to hair loss. Alopecia areata generally begins in childhood and runs in families.
Alopecia areata is an incurable disorder, but there are medications that can help make hair grow, at least temporarily. Some people who have alopecia areata develop only a few bare patches, while others lose much more hair. In some rare situations, alopecia areata can cause complete loss of hair on the head, face, or body.
(Click Alopecia Areata for more detailed information about this disorder. This article offers an in-depth description of its causes and various treatment options, and also provides tips for coping with hair loss.)