Alopecia: its causes and impact

alopeciaA woman’s hair is often closely linked to her sense of identity and confidence. So, it’s unsurprising that developing a condition such as alopecia can be absolutely devastating. In recent years, there’s been a lot of headway made to help raise awareness of the condition, helping women to realise they’re not alone. However, despite this, it can still have a really negative impact on a woman’s confidence.

Here, we’ll look at the causes of alopecia and how it impacts a person’s life.

What causes alopecia?

The exact cause of  will depend upon the type. Many people are unaware that alopecia is a term used to cover a number of hair loss conditions. There’s alopecia areata, universalis and totalis. All are autoimmune conditions where the body’s immune system starts attacking its own cells, including the cells within the hair follicles.

The most common type is alopecia areata which can vary significantly in severity and it can also affect numerous parts of the body. The rare forms of the condition, totalis and universalis tend to be much more severe and can result in permanent total baldness. The cause of these conditions isn’t known and as of yet, there is no cure available.

How can it impact a person’s life?

The majority of alopecia sufferers experience significant emotional distress. Many avoid going out completely due to feelings of shame and embarrassment. Self-esteem can take a dramatic hit and many women report feeling like they’ve lost who they are.

Many do go on to accept the condition, but only through help via friends, family and their GP. The good news is that although there isn’t a cure, there are treatments and solutions which can help to make the condition easier to live with.

Overall, the key thing to remember is that help is available. So, if you are worried you’re suffering from alopecia, it’s important to seek advice from your GP or a specialist hair loss clinic as soon as possible. They’ll be able to give you a proper diagnosis and point you towards the best treatment.