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Living With Alopecia Areata

Living with alopecia areata can be difficult, especially in a culture that views hair as a sign of youth and good health. However, it is important to remember that more than 4 million people nationwide are living with alopecia areata at some point in their lives, so you are not alone. A few things can be done to minimize the physical dangers or discomforts of hair loss, including the use of: caps, wigs, sunscreen, and/or antibiotic ointment as necessary.

Living With Alopecia Areata: An Overview

Children, teens, and young adults who are living with alopecia areata often ask, "How is alopecia areata going to affect my life?" The comforting news is that alopecia areata:
 
  • Is not a painful disease
  • Does not make people feel sick, physically
  • Is not contagious -- children who have the disease are generally healthy, otherwise
  • Does not reduce life expectancy
  • Should not interfere with the ability to achieve such life goals as going to school, working, marrying, raising a family, playing sports, and exercising.
     
However, the emotional aspects of living with hair loss can be challenging. Many people cope by:
 
  • Learning as much as they can about alopecia areata
  • Speaking with others who are facing the same problem
  • Seeking counseling to help build a positive self-image.
     

Living With Alopecia Areata: Coping

Living with hair loss can be hard, especially in a culture that views hair as a sign of youth and good health. The key to coping is valuing yourself for who you are, not for how much hair you have or don't have. Many people learning to cope with alopecia areata find it helpful to talk with other people who are dealing with the same problems.
 
It is important to remember that more than 4 million people nationwide have this disease at some point in their lives, so you are not alone. If you would like to be in touch with other people living with alopecia areata, the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF) can help through its pen pal program, message boards, annual conference, and support groups that meet in various locations nationwide.
 

Understanding Alopecia Areata

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