Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when the immune system attacks the scalp, causing bald patches. It's a common occurrence seen mostly in men but can affect anyone and in a person who is otherwise healthy.
I have lupus which is also autoimmune. With lupus, internal and external organs has the possibility of being damaged. I've been experiencing a painful flare up in my muscles and joints but now alopecia areata is added to my list of other symptoms.
Alopecia areata is more than baldness because you have to know the source. For one, it's not contagious. However, genetics may play a factor. Stress is a major factor and that's where I fall in.
In addition to having lupus, I'm a single mom with two sons with autism. Stress management is very important to me because that is what causes my flares. I'm also 50 years old and menopausal and my hair has been experiencing some changes because of that.
I noticed that my hair was thinning a bit in the scalp last year but I thought nothing of it. I was literally feeling air on my scalp. Fast forward last month, out of nowhere, I discovered two bald patches on the front part of my scalp!
I automatically contributed it lupus. Long story short, I got it checked out by a dermatologist and he told me that it was alopecia areata, based on how it looked. Either way, my overall immune system is fighting against me but this time it really attacked my scalp.
My dermatologist gave me some local steroid injections on the bald patches. They were uncomfortable but nothing I couldn't handle; all I could think about was the outcome. I go back in six weeks for another set. I was told that I should see results in about four weeks.
Just as there are different forms of alopecia, there are different treatment options. Consult with a board certified dermatologist on what's best for you.
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Filed under: Lupus