Alopecia is the loss or the absence of hair. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease, which can also involve hair all over the body. In simple terms, the immune system, for unknown reasons, attacks the hair root and causes hair loss.
Types of alopecia areata:
1. Localized Alopecia areata: This is the most common type. This form of alopecia usually presents with round, smooth patches of various sizes of hair loss. The duration of alopecia areata is variable. It may resolve spontaneously within weeks or be recurrent over a lifetime. It may go away on its own or may last for many years. It can involve any hair-bearing site, including eyebrows, eyelashes and beards.
2. Alopecia totalis: Loss of all hair on the scalp.
3. Alopecia Universalis: Loss of all scalp and body hair.
There are few symptoms associated with alopecia areata. Occasionally nail changes may occur. associated symptoms, one being alopecia of the nails. The surface of the nails may appear dull and rough, nails may have tiny dents, they may have ridges or small dents referred to as nail pitting. This does not typically cause any discomfort. Alopecia areata affects approximately 1- 2 percent of the population. This common skin disease is highly unpredictable and cyclical.