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Brooke’s Blog: Dermatology Questions and Answers

Dear Brooke, My name is William, and I am 26 years-old from New Jersey. Over the past few months, I’ve noticed bald patches on my scalp that appeared out of nowhere. They are like small circles without any hair on my scalp. I think I counted about 4 of them in the past few weeks. Am I going bald? Why am I losing my hair in such a strange way? Thank you! Dear William, The condition you have described sounds like Alopecia Areata. This condition is typically a non-permanent form of hair loss that does not leave scarring behind and can be treated successfully. Alopecia Areata is considered to be an autoimmune condition where your own body attacks your hair follicles causing localized hair loss either on the scalp or even the beard area. There is also a genetic component to the condition, meaning it is more likely for you to be affected if your family members have also experienced these symptoms. Additionally, there is a correlation between high levels of stress in a person’s life as a probable cause of Alopecia Areata. Most patients do not experience symptoms other than hair loss, but some people may feel a burning sensation or itchiness in the areas where the hair loss is present. On a physical examination, your health care practitioner can examine the areas of hair loss and view black dots, broken hairs, and clustered short light colored hairs where your normal hair used to grow. Your health care practitioner can treat this condition with a series of cortisone injections directly into the areas of hair loss. Typically, patients return to the office every few weeks to have the injections, which are relatively painless and highly effective to regrow the hair. It is often necessary to undergo a series of at least 3-6 treatments in order for the hair to grow back. Moreover, topical steroid creams that suppress inflammation associated with Alopecia Areata can be applied to the areas as an adjunct therapy to help expedite the regrowth of hair loss. It can take up to 6-9 months for the hair to completely grow back after undergoing treatment.  Rest assured that Alopecia Areata is a benign condition and does not threaten your general health. In most cases, after undergoing successful treatment, the hair will grow back to its normal state. Best Regards, Brooke Studley, RPA-C  
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Schweiger Dermatology

110 East 55th Street
New York, NY 10022

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