Alopecia areata is the sudden and complete loss of hair in coin shaped areas on a hair bearing area of the skin, most commonly the scalp. It is most common in children but can appear up to the age of forty. It is felt to be evidence of autoimmunity but can also be influenced by the increased pressures of everyday life (stress). An area, once it occurs, will normally slowly enlarge for 4 to 6 weeks, just sit there for 4-6 weeks and then gradually fill in within the next six weeks. The older the patient, this process can be stretched out to six months.
Unfortunately, as one area grows in, another one can fall out. These bald spots can continue to develop resulting in significant hair loss. Therapy is quite effective for any one spot but the condition can be recurrent. The sooner therapy is instituted; the more successful it’s likely to be.