Information on alopecia areata

Alopecia areata hair loss information for men and women
Alopecia Areata 
Alopecia Areata Biology
Alopecia Areata Treatments

  Alopecia Areata Information
Alopecia areata (AA) is a non-scarring, inflammatory, hair loss disease that is seen in men, women and children. This condition is commonly manifested by patchy areas of hair loss on the scalp and other body areas. In severe cases, alopecia areata can progress to complete loss of all body hair. While not a life threatening condition, alopecia areata is nonetheless serious because of the psychologically and sociologically devastating effects the hair loss can have on the affected individual.

Under normal circumstances, hair growth in each hair follicle occurs in a cycle. There are three main phases of the hair growth cycle; anagen, catagen, and telogen. Anagen is the active growth phase when hair fiber is produced. This is followed by catagen, a period of controlled regression of the hair follicle. Ultimately the hair follicle enters telogen where it is in a so-called resting state. Alopecia areata primarily affects the hair follicle as it enters the anagen phase. Inflammatory cells of the immune system infiltrate around anagen hair follicles and cause them to stop producing hair fiber.

Studies indicate that the initial event in the development of alopecia areata is the premature precipitation of anagen follicles into the telogen, resting state of the hair follicle cycle. Most commonly, hair follicles exit anagen, enter catagen, and then shed the hair fiber upon entering telogen. The follicles may then proceed back into the next anagen growth phase but, because of the continued activity of the disease, produce poor aberrant hair fiber. Such follicles are described as being in a dystrophic anagen state. Some researchers believe the hair follicles continue indefinitely to oscillate between several rapid cycles of dystrophic anagen and telogen states. Others believe many of the follicles are eventually arrested in telogen.

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