Alopecia Education & Support

Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, which is where hair growth begins. It usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth patches.

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Newly Diagnosed?

Newly Diagnosed?

Are you newly diagnosed with alopecia areata? This is the place to start!
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Learning to Cope

Learning to Cope

Webinars, information and resources to help you learn to cope with alopecia areata.
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Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Check for local support group or online events
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Awareness Shop

Awareness Shop

Need alopecia awareness gear? Visit our online shop!
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Learning to Thrive Series: Trisha Repp Benzing

For our third Q&A session, we had the pleasure of interviewing Trisha Repp Benzing. Please take a moment to read Trisha’s courageous journey with alopecia.

Q. When were you diagnosed?

I was diagnosed at 19. My hairdresser found a small spot on the back of my head. I went to my dr who referred me to a dermatologist. Within 30 days half of my hair was gone. I think the stress of the diagnosis increased the speed of the hair loss. I was devastated. At that age, appearance is very important. I had severe depression for a while, which didn’t help either. My friends and husband eventually helped me realize I was beautiful with or without my hair, but it was a rough time for me. Read more…

Restoring Your Soul

What does it mean to feed your soul? How often do you slow down enough to notice exactly what you need to restore yourself and not just ‘escape’.

And I’m not just talking about a mani/pedi afternoon! (Of course those are great too!)

Taking a moment, as often as possible, to really honestly ask yourself what you need will not only provide you with some relief and satisfaction but a new sense of self and what’s important to you may emerge. Read more…

We are the Guardians of our own Mind

Positive mindset is something we need to feed ourselves with daily. It’s easy to think negative and hard to think positive. Why? Why is it so easy to think of different scenarios that are bad for us?

For me there is only one word that fits — fear. Since this is a guest post for us with alopecia, I take it as an example. It’s been very easy for me to feel fear, and it’s because I’ve been feeding my mind over a long period of time — even during the school years — and it’s not easy to make it go away, it’s a bad habit. Read more…

Treatments for Alopecia Areata

Treatment Options for Alopecia AreataA number of treatments can help hair regrow but none alter the long-term course of the disorder. Spontaneous remission occurs in up to 80% of patients with limited patchy hair loss of short duration (< 1 year) making it difficult to assess efficacy, particularly in mild forms of alopecia areata.[3]

Some trials have been limited to patients with severe alopecia areata where spontaneous remission is unlikely. However, these patients tend to be resistant to all forms of treatment and the failure of a treatment in this setting does not exclude efficacy in mild alopecia areata. There are numerous case reports and uncontrolled case series claiming response of alopecia areata to diverse treatments. However, few treatments have been subjected to randomized controlled trials and, except for contact immunotherapy, there are few published data on long-term outcomes.

Corticosteroids

Topical corticosteroid therapy can be useful, especially in children who cannot tolerate injections. It is administered as follows:

  • Fluocinolone acetonide cream 0.2%, betamethasone dipropionate cream 0.05%, or clobetasol 0.05% foam are the most common forms prescribed
  • Topical cream or foam should be applied to the affected area and 1 cm beyond the circumference of the bald patch daily
  • Treatment must be continued for a minimum of 3 months before regrowth can be expected, and maintenance therapy is often necessary
  • For alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis, 2.5 g of clobetasol propionate covered with a plastic film 6 days/wk for 6 months helped a minority of patients
  • Side effects include skin atrophy, folliculitis, or telangiectasia
  • 28.5%-61% of patients achieve regrowth — 37.5% of patients experience relapse[4] Read more…

4 Myths I Didn’t Need To Believe About My Chronic Illness

In an ideal world, we’d all support our body’s miraculous ability to heal itself and develop new cells through our lifestyle choices. Whether through the food we choose, physical activity, the amount of rest we receive, or even the conversations we have, everything would either contribute to our ongoing good health or inhibit our body from being well or healing.

This is even true when it comes to autoimmune disease. Often, when a person is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, medications are prescribed with little to no explanation about the disease and how our lifestyle impacts that condition. Read more…

Learning to Thrive Series: Lu Mueller-Kaul

For our second Q&A session, we had the pleasure of interviewing Lu Mueller-Kaul. Please take a moment to read Lu’s courageous journey with alopecia.

Q. When did you notice your hair loss?

In the spring of 2014 I suddenly lost an eyebrow. It was the strangest thing — I looked in the mirror, and my left eyebrow was gone. I did remember that it had looked a bit thin for a few days before, but I hadn’t really paid attention. At the time, I had long dreadlocks, and kept them very neat. They were carefully divided, and where the roots were parted, you could always see the scalp.

I had not noticed that these bare spots had gotten bigger in some areas–the dreads were really hiding it well. Now I’ve seen old pictures from 2011 where there was a very clear bald spot over the right ear — but I hadn’t noticed it at all. Read more…

Association Between Vitamin D Levels & Alopecia Areata

AE 14A recent study out of Turkey found that in those with alopecia areata, low vitamin D levels are common and may relate to a more severe disease state.

Vitamin D has a well-established effect on the immune system and is linked to a variety of autoimmune diseases. Researchers have found that vitamin D may be able to help in some aspects of autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, and type 1 diabetes. That being said, there hasn’t been any research looking at the relationship between vitamin D and AA.

Recently, researchers at the Şişli Etfal Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi (Training and Research Hospital) in Turkey conducted a study to determine if vitamin D levels relate to AA and how vitamin D may affect disease severity. Read more…

Taking It All Off – For Love

Valentine’s day: a day so many of us go out of our way to abundantly acknowledge, celebrate, and demonstrate love for the people in our lives.

But has it occurred to you to include yourself in that lovefest? Are you lovin’ on yourself today? Read more…

Dear Mark

Today I responded to a comment in a public forum from a man who has has alopecia universalis – no body hair at all – since he was thirteen.

He is in my Baby Boomer generation, and there was little help available to cope with alopecia when he was a child. This wonderful man shared his hurt and his pain over the bullying he experienced both as a child and an adult. It took courage to share. My heart was full of empathy and compassion for him, and I could not leave without responding. Here’s what I wrote: Read more…