There are many different forms of alopecia that can cause hair loss. They are called Androgenetic, Areata, Traction and Postpartum. There are different causes for each form of alopecia, along with different treatments.
What Is Alopecia and Which Alopecia Treatments Work the Best?
What is Alopecia?
Alopecia is an autoimmune disease and as such we have very little control over it. There are ways you can boost your immune system and I will look at those in a little greater detail further in another article to follow this one. Needless to say though because so much of what causes Alopecia is based on our own bodies attacking itself getting yourself in tip-top health and keeping your immune system strong is an absolute must, if you don't then nothing you try in terms of treatments will make a jot of difference.
Ok, so onto treatments, well firstly and by far the most common treatment for alopecia is to do nothing at all. If you are unfortunate to have experienced hair loss and spoken to your doctor about it its most likely you would have experienced the same reaction to it as I have ( my daughter has alopecia areata ), the usual course of action taken by G.Ps is to express sympathy, then run some blood tests to make sure there is no underlying cause of the hair loss, my daughter came back slightly deficiant in her iorn count so was given tablets to counter that. However the tablets did nothing but give her stomach ace so after 6 months on these we gave them up. When nothing is found to be wrong they will send you on your merry way or in some cases offer you the opportunity to go and be fitted with an NHS wig.
So lets talk about wigs. We were not offered that option but we did seek it out ourselves and with the G.Ps help we headed off to get my daughter a fitted wig. In fairness my daughters a pretty girl and the head buffs she was wearing suited her a lot but her confidence had dipped to a huge extent so we felt the wig might be the answer. She tolerated the wig for a few months, but it never really looked natural and to make matters worse it caused her scalp to sweat and itch and was just generally uncomfortable, the last straw came when it came off during a P.E lesson. Now she never had too much bother with teasing at school, she had some lovely friends and a teacher who explained to the whole class what alopecia was and that helped her a lot.
So, what if you don't want to take the 'sit back and see' course of action. Well there are other options out there. Steroid injections is one of them. This is a treatment best used on people who have small patches of hair missing, it consists of having steroid injections placed in the area where the hair is missing. By doing this it intends to suppress the local immune system thus allowing the hair follicles in the area to function as they should do. There are downsides to this treatment, the first being there is no guarantee that it will actually work, and the second being its painful, very painful for the patient so may not be suitable for younger children. We decided this was not an option for my daughter.
Topical Steroids and Minoxidil
There is another option which involved steroids and this one we did try and that's the topical steroids, in other words a cream you rub into the scalp. It didn't work for us, it might for you, remember we all individuals and your alopecia could react differently to treatment than the next persons. It is not recommended steroid treatments be used over a long length of time due to the effects they have on the skin which is making the outer layer of skin very thin. Another topical cream that is often tried when trying to find a cure for alopecia, most often associated with male pattern baldness is Minoxidil, again this appears to have varying results and is not available on the NHS, it is therefore advisable to consult with your G.P before beginning to use it.
It's thought the most effective treatment to date for alopecia is topical immunotherapy. This is a specialist treatment and will require you being referred by your G.P and as those practicing the treatment are still few and far between may involve some travel dependent on your location. The statistics of hair regrowth for this treatment but because of the side effects it can cause treatment for children is still a source of controversy.
Immune System Boosts
At the end of the day, there are other treatments that are variants on wigs like hair enhancement systems but honestly the best thing we have found is spending some serious time finding out the best way to allow the body to function normally. After all every treatment shown here without fail is a temporary measure. If you do end up being one of the lucky ones they work for your hair growth is likely only to be temporary. Pampering your immune system to me seems to be the best longterm cure for alopecia.
Self confidence is battered for anyone with hair loss but its important to try not to let yourself get too down about it, the stress that causes will have a negative effect on not only the way your feeling but also on your system as a whole and especially your immune system. Be kind to yourself, try if you can to be a spokes person for the condition, educate those around you and let them know how it feels sometimes, people are only cruel because they are ignorant. You can do something about that, not only helping you but others who may come across them in the future.
My daughter hasn't been bullied as such, thank goodness but she has experienced other children whispering behind her back about her hair and asking her if she has cancer. She has explained to them what alopecia is and now she's stopped wearing wigs and see's her alopecia as part of who she is and her friends have been a big support. Her hair since we have started the autoimmune health routine has been at least 70% better and it hasn't been quite 4 months yet so I am convinced, for us at least, this is the best path to take.
Tracy Collins http://www.whatisalopecia.info
Article Source: What Is Alopecia and Which Alopecia Treatments Work the Best?