Types Of Alopecia Areata

As if alopecia isn't devastating enough, there are many types of alopecia. It isn't confined to just a small circular patch of hair loss on the head, although that is the most predominant. The worst part is that it tends to happen in the late teen aged years, when how you look is the most important thing to you. The good news is that is it usually reverses itself, though the condition can reoccur.

Studies on the types of alopecia are showing that the hair follicles are damaged by the rapid cycling that happens while the alopecia is active, and sometimes this is what causes the condition to become permanent. This is when the baldness is at its worst. Effectively your body's immune system creates chemicals that attack hair follicles, and no one really knows why.

Types Of Alopecia

Alopecia Totalis

Alopecia totalis is exactly what it sounds like. It is when the head becomes totally bald, and the skin is totally smooth, like Princess Caroline of Monaco, who for a long time was totally bald after her mother, Princess Grace passed away.

Alopecia Universalis

Alopecia universalis, again is exactly what it sounds like, alopecia all over the body, even the eye lashes, eye brows and pubic hair falls out. This is the most severe form of alopecia and the rarest form of the condition.

Ophiasis Alopecia

Sometimes alopecia will present itself with a pattern that looks like a snake on the head. This is called Ophiasis alopecia. Ophiasis is Greek for snake or serpent and the pattern of the alopecia will cover the scalp along the edges. This form of alopecia was first described by Cornelius Cleus in 30 AD. It is considered the hardest to treat of all the types of alopecia areata.

Alopecia Barbae

A form of alopecia areata that only affects men is called alopecia barbae, because it leaves bald spots in the beard. David Ducovney, the actor famous for his role in the X-Files, has this condition.

It is nice to know that there are celebrities that have this condition and that they are speaking out. Besides David Ducovney, Neve Campbell and Christopher reeve also have this condition and have spoken about it in interviews.

Neve Campbell alopecia victim

They talked about how they dealt with it and how they used various coping skills to keep it under control, using everything from meditation to diet to help with the stress of their profession and their personal lives, which tends to exacerbate the alopecia.

There are other forms of alopecia areata that are caused by things like childbirth and pregnancy and chemotherapy, but their cause is known.

It is the hormones and the medications that stimulate the hair follicles into overdrive causing the hair loss. The hair grows back, and there are rarely any side effects to this.

The Root Cause Of Hair Loss

When true alopecia is the root cause to the hair loss, no matter what the type, there is no guarantee that the hair will grow back and it is not certain that the condition will not return at some future date, particularly if you are under some great stress or have a chronic illness.

The various types of alopecia come in all shapes and can cover the entire body.

The hardest thing to deal with is the stress of the condition and the potential of the loss of self esteem. Always talk to your doctor about help with coping with any of the types of Alopecia.