Alopecia areata is a condition that causes round patches of hair loss.
The cause of alopecia areata is unknown. About a fifth of people with this condition have a family history of alopecia. Alopecia areata may sometimes occur with autoimmune diseases.
Forms of alopecia include:
Hairs that look like exclamation points are sometimes seen at the edges of a bald patch.
On occasion, a scalp biopsy may be performed. Several blood tests may be done, because alopecia areata may occur with autoimmune conditions.
No fully effective treatments are available. Typical therapy includes:
Irritating drugs may be applied to hairless areas to cause the hair to regrow.
Full recovery of hair is common. However, some people may have a poorer outcome, including those with:
Permanent hair loss is a possible complication of alopecia areata.
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you are concerned about hair loss.
Alopecia totalis; Alopecia universalis