When baldness leaves your head with just shiny, annoying patches, you're dealing with non-scarring alopecia. Alopecia is a general term used to denote the occurrence of hair loss. It is by no means a comprehensive term.
To understand balding better, we have to explore the different forms of alopecia. Right now, we're going to do a short exploration of non-scarring variants of alopecia.
Alopecia areata is not caused by the genetic predisposition to balding, nor is it caused by tight braids or low levels of iron in blood serum. Rather, it is caused by an autoimmune condition where distinct spots on the head suddenly experience hair loss. As the term 'autoimmune' may suggest, it is the result of abnormalities in the natural defense system of the body.
In the United States alone, about one percent of the population sufferers from this condition. Sometimes, the balding eases up and the bald spots eventually re-grow hair. In other, more uncomfortable cases, the baldness becomes more generalized.
Two Variants Of The Same Alopecia
When alopecia areata becomes more than just a temporary problem, the condition may worsen and re-emerge as one of two variants. The first variant is called alopecia totalis. This means absolutely everything on the scalp is lost, save none. When this happens, recovery of hair is already impossible.
Alopecia universalis, the second variant of alopecia areata, causing a more disturbing form of hair loss. Not only will a person lose all the hair that is on the scalp, but all the hair on the body will shed. Beards, eyebrows, pubic hair and the small hairs on the chest and legs, all these would fall out.
Less Frightening Alopecia
When the alopecia is not too severe, two other variants may appear in place of the two frightening forms of alopecia stated above. The first variant is called Alopecia areata monocularis. This form of alopecia simply means that there are isolated bald spots. The balding will not occur anywhere else in the body. Usually, doctors fight this form of alopecia with bed rest, medication and better nutrition. Often, the body can regain its equilibrium if sufficient medical intervention is introduced.
The second variant of less severe alopecia is called Alopecia areata barbae. This is most commonly seen in men, where distinct spots on the beard area suddenly go bald. It's very visible because the beard is often the 'emphasizing' component of a male person's face.
When Does It Strike?
All forms of balding strike at specific periods of a person's life. For the non-scarring variety of alopecia, statistics show that patients between fifteen and twenty-nine are most susceptible. This means that Alopecia areata is more akin to younger people than the old ones.
This variety of alopecia is not limited by race. Asians, Americans and African-Americans alike suffer from these forms of alopecia on a yearly basis. No statistics exists that link one type to just one race. This simply means that everyone is at risk, and no one is really exempted from having such a condition. In addition, Alopecia areata occurs in both males and females on equal percentages.