What is Alopecia Areata?

If you suddenly find your hair falling out in clumps or patches you may have a dermatological condition called alopecia areata. The condition follows a standard path. It starts unexpectedly with hair falling out in a small patch or patches about the size of a quarter followed by larger patches . It can occur on the scalp, beard, eyebrows, or any hair bearing area of the body in men or women.

We find that this condition tends to take people by surprise, causing alarm, embarrassment and fear, because people believe it signals something serious or that it is caused by something they may have done wrong to their hair such as using chemical agents. While it is true that you can experience some hair loss from vitamin deficiencies and the overuse of harsh products on your hair, alopecia areata is different. Specific foods, allergies or stress do not precipitate this type of hair loss. Unfortunately, the causes of alopecia areata are unknown but some evidence does show that it can be genetic. It can also be related to autoimmune diseases, such as thyroid disease or gluten food sensitivity.