Alopecia Areata Treatment
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Alopecia Areata Treatments – Natural, Medical and Surgical
One of the medical disorders that continues to baffle experts is alopecia areata. It is one of the many types of hair loss and is considered an autoimmune disease, which means that your immune system attacks specific parts of your body, particularly the hair follicles. You will then experience hair loss that varies from just a few bald spots to your entire head of hair.
The good news is that you can still regrow hair through one of the following alopecia treatments although it must be noted that there is no 100% proven cure yet.
Alopecia Areata Natural Treatment
Many, if not most, individuals experiencing their first bout with hair loss will look to natural alopecia areata treatments. This makes sense as natural methods are more affordable, not to mention that many have been found to be effective to a certain degree. The following are the most popular natural hair loss remedies:
- Essential oils particularly a mixture of rosemary, lavender, thyme and cedar wood with carrier oils jojoba and grapeseed can be massaged into the scalp on a daily basis. This is based on a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study where it was found that 44% of the test subjects who used the mixture showed an improvement in hair growth.
- Onion juice for hair regrowth – In a clinical study published by the Journal of Dermatology, hair growth was observed in almost 87% of the test subjects within 6 weeks of twice daily applications of onion juice on the scalp.
However, hair experts cautioned that natural methods of alopecia areata treatment will still be ineffective if certain lifestyle changes are not adopted. This holds true also for medical and surgical treatments.
Keep in mind that the following lifestyle changes will help your fight against future recurrence of hair loss.
- Eat a nutritionally balanced diet and take nutritional supplements that are effective against hair loss. Foods like nuts, beans, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, salmon, dark green vegetables, eggs, poultry, oysters, and carrots are good for healthy hair.
- Handle your hair as gently as possible. This means no hot blow-drying, no tight hairstyles and no harsh chemicals. Hair styling products and procedures should be avoided while your hair is growing back.
Medical Alopecia Areata Treatment
If the above mentioned natural methods of essential oils, carrier oils and onion juice are less than effective in your case, you may want to consider medical treatments.
You should first see a hair specialist before applying the following medications (approved by the Food and Drug Administration). The chemical ingredients in these pills and ointments can lead to adverse side effects in susceptible individuals, possess contraindicative properties with other medications, and generally may just worsen your hair condition if not used appropriately.
Also, you should set your expectations to the right level. Your results will vary from those of other individuals for the simple reason that each case is different. The general rule is that alopecia treatment tends to be less effective in cases of extensive hair loss.
The following are the most common medical treatments for alopecia areata:
- Minoxidil is a non-prescription medication that comes in foam and liquid form as well as 2% and 5% solution. Rub the mixture into your scalp two times a day, which will aid in hair regrowth and prevent further hair loss. It may take 12 weeks of regular use before results can be seen, but be sure to continue its use because Minoxidil stops working as soon as its application is stopped.
- Finasteride is a pill used to treat male pattern baldness. Women should not use finasteride especially when you are pregnant.
- Corticosteroids are injected directly into the scalp usually on a once-a-month basis. In just four weeks, new hair growth can be seen.
- Anthralin comes in cream and ointment forms, which can be applied on the scalp and then washed off on a daily basis. It can take up to 12 weeks before hair regrowth is noticeable.
Again, we cannot overemphasize the need for expert medical supervision when applying any of the above medical methods to treat alopecia areata. Side effects have been known to occur, which you certainly want to avoid lest your hair condition worsen.
Surgical Treatment for Alopecia Areata
When all else fails and you still don’t want to go the Yul Brynner route, you can discuss your surgical options with a hair surgery expert. Again, you should set the right expectations in that hair surgery will only cover the lost ground of your scalp with whatever existing hair you still have.
You must prepare yourself for the expensive costs, high pain levels and possible health complications that come with surgical alopecia areata treatment. After the operation, you must wait for another 6 to 8 months before the results of the surgery can be evaluated.
- Hair transplant techniques like punch grafts are done by transplanting tiny plugs of skin with a few hairs on to the bald sections of the scalp.
- Scalp reduction means lessening the bald skin on the head. This can then be combined with any of the hair transplant techniques to maximize the results.
Which of these alopecia areata treatment methods is the best? We suggest discussing your options with a hair expert first so that your case can be analyzed and a customized treatment program developed for you.
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