Alopecia areata is the name for a condition in which round patches of hair loss appear suddenly. The hair-growing tissue is attacked by the patient's own immune cells for unknown reasons. There are three stages: first, there is sudden hair loss, then the patches of hair loss enlarge, and last, new hair grows back. This process takes months, sometimes more than a year, but rarely does the hair never grow back.
It isn't understood why the immune cells attack the hair-growing tissue. Alopecia areata is not contagious, not caused by foods, is not the result of nervousness and sometimes runs in families.
No fully effective treatments are available.
Conventional medicine uses cortisone injections to stimulate hair regrowth. Twenty to thirty injections per patch are required once a month. The injections are uncomfortable and some patients do not respond to cortisone or any treatment.
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