Alopecia Areata Treatment in Indianapolis and Carmel
Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatology
Treatment for Alopecia Areata Indianapolis and Carmel IN
In our practice, patients with alopecia areata are seen by Turkle & Associates board certified dermatologist, Dr. Matt Strausburg.
We invite you to continue reading for frequently asked questions and more information about alopecia areata and how we can help you.
What Is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is a highly unpredictable but common skin disease that results in the loss of hair on the scalp and hair loss elsewhere on the body.
The medical term alopecia means hair loss and the term areata means occurring in patches. So, hair loss in people with alopecia areata occurs in patches instead of all over.
If you do have a receding hairline or thinning, you probably do not have alopecia areata. Please see our general hair loss, thinning and balding page here.
What Does Alopecia Areata Look Like?
Alopecia areata usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth patches where your hair has been lost. The bald spots often occurs on your scalp, but we see alopecia areata in other areas with hair like beard, eyebrows, eyelashes etc…
You can have bare spots from hair loss due to alopecia areata in more than one body area.
The nails of some people with alopecia areata develop stippling that looks as if a pin had made rows of tiny dents. In a few, the nails are severely distorted. However, other than the hair and occasionally the nails, no other part of the body is affected.
What is the Treatment for Alopecia Areata?
There are treatments we can recommend if you have alopecia areata. They include, but are not limited to:
- Cortisone therapy — the medication cortisone (steroids) can be applied directly to the area where you’ve lost hair. A cortisone cream will either be rubbed on by you or cortisone injections will be performed by Dr. Strausburg. Cortisone pills may prescribed for more extensive hair loss.
- Minoxidil — Minoxidil is a hair regrowth product that you apply directly to the hairless area. It can be used on the scalp, beard or eyebrows. Many people know Minoxidil as Rogaine.
- Anthralin — Anthralin is a synthetic, tar-like substance that has been used widely for psoriasis. Anthralin is either a cream or ointment and you apply it to the area(s) where you’ve lost hair.
A combination of treatments may also be suggested. Dr. Strausburg will provide you with treatment recommendations and complete information at the time of your appointment.
What Causes Alopecia Areata?
In some people, the cause is unknown, but in others, alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are diseases in which your body attacks itself.
Current research suggests that something triggers the immune system to suppress the hair follicle and stops it from making hair. It isn’t known what this trigger is, and whether it comes from outside the body like a virus, or from inside. Recent research indicates that some persons have genetic markers that increase both their susceptibility to develop alopecia areata, as well as the degree of disease severity.
Who Gets Alopecia Areata?
Anybody can get alopecia areata. It occurs in males and females of all ages and races, but it starts most often in childhood. It can be hereditary, meaning it is passed to you by your parents or other relatives and you have it when you are born.
If you develop your first patch of alopecia areata before you are 30, then it is more likely an autoimmune disease and other family members may have it.
Alopecia areata often occurs in families whose members have had asthma, hay fever, atopic eczema, or autoimmune diseases such as thyroid disease, early-onset diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosis, vitiligo, pernicious anemia, or Addison’s disease.
How is Alopecia Areata Diagnosed?
Dr. Strausburg may be able to tell you whether or not you have alopecia areata just by taking your medical history and examining the area where you have lost hair.
If there is any question, a few strands of your hair may need to be examined with a microscope or you may need to have other lab tests performed.
How Will Alopecia Areata Affect My Daily Life?
Alopecia areata is not medically disabling; persons with alopecia areata are usually in excellent health. But emotionally, this disease can be challenging, especially for those with extensive hair loss. There are thousands of successful, well-adjusted, contented people living with this disease. People with alopecia areata do not need to limit their activities or expectations.
Is Alopecia Areata Contagious?
No, alopecia areata is not contagious.
Does Hair Loss from Alopecia Areata Grow Back?
Yes, the hair definitely can grow even after years of extensive hair loss.
No matter how widespread the hair loss, it is important to know that the hair follicles remain alive and are ready to resume normal hair production whenever they receive the appropriate signal. In all cases, no matter how severe, hair regrowth may occur even without treatment and, as stated, even after many years.
Keep in mind, your hair can also fall out again and some patients never get hair growth back.
Is Alopecia Areata Due to Nerves?
No, alopecia areata is not a nervous disorder. Those who have alopecia areata have not caused it.
Is There a Cure for Alopecia Areata?
At present, there is no cure for alopecia areata, although the hair may return by itself. The various treatments for alopecia areata are listed above. They are most effective in milder cases, but none are universally effective.
Do You Take Insurance For Alopecia Areata?
Yes, we do take insurance for alopecia areata. We suggest you contact your plan administrator to determine if we participate with your insurance plan.
Contact Us About Treatment for Alopecia Areata
If you have more questions and would like further information about alopecia areata treatment, or if you are ready to schedule an appointment, contact Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatology by clicking here for our online quick-contact email form or feel free to call us at 317-848-0001.
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Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatology’s video content is for informational and educational purposes only. Viewing of these videos should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis or a treatment recommendation. As with any health concern, always seek a consultation regarding a medical condition. Any questions concerning the content of these videos may be directed to Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatology at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-848-0001.