What are the signs of alopecia?
Written by tapGP Clinical Team
21 August 2023
Alopecia, otherwise known as pattern baldness, is the most common cause of baldness. It’s also genetic, so if there’s a history of baldness in your family, then chances are you’ll end up with at least some hair loss yourself.
What Are The Types Of Alopecia?
Alopecia can occur in different forms, and the most common types of alopecia include:
This is the most common and famous type of alopecia and is hereditary. Though common in men, it affects all sexes. It’s characterised by hair thinning and baldness, usually in a predictable pattern.
Alopecia totalis is a chronic condition of complete hair loss of the scalp, which affects a small percentage of patients with alopecia areata. Treatment outcomes are best when this disease is recognized and treated early in its course.
This type of alopecia occurs when the immune system attacks parts of the body, including your hair follicles, by mistake. The symptoms of alopecia areata include patchy hair loss on the scalp, face, and body. It can occur suddenly and progress rapidly, leading to complete baldness.
Alopecia universalis (AU) is a condition characterized by the complete loss of hair on the scalp and body. It is an advanced form of alopecia areata, a condition that causes round patches of hair loss.
What are the Signs of Alopecia?
The signs and symptoms of alopecia depend on the type and severity of the condition. Here are some of the most common signs of alopecia:
Hair thinning is one of the most common signs of alopecia. It can occur gradually or suddenly and affects both men and women. Hair thinning can occur on any part of the scalp or can be a bald spot.
Bald patches are another common sign of alopecia, especially for those who develop Alopecia Areata. This type of alopecia causes sudden hair loss in circular or oval-shaped patches on the scalp, beard, or eyebrows. The bald patches may be itchy, painful, or tender, and they can appear suddenly and grow in size over time.
Increase in Hair Shedding
An increase in hair shedding is another common symptom of alopecia. Individuals with alopecia may notice an excessive amount of hair falling out during brushing, combing, or washing their hair. They may also find hair on their pillow, clothing, or floor.
Alopecia can also cause changes to the scalp. These changes can include redness, inflammation, or scaling of the scalp, which can be due to fungal or bacterial infections. In addition, the scalp may become itchy, painful, or tender.
When To Speak to a Doctor
If you think you have been suffering from any of these symptoms, it is always a good idea to bring this up with your general practitioner. They will be able to carry out a full medical history and examination to determine the cause of your symptoms.
Treatment options are available for those with Alopecia. Please check your symptoms and visit your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
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