What is Alopecia Areata?

The hair loss condition Alopecia Areata was thrown into the headlines this week when Chris Rock made an inappropriate joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head at the Oscars. Jada was visibly upset following the comment.

Jada has been open about her journey with Alopecia Areata over recent years and in 2021 explained that her Alopecia Areata was such that she had decided to shave her head.

Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease where the immune system incorrectly targets the hair follicles. Most people suffering from Alopecia Areata will notice coin shaped areas of hair loss. For some the condition can progress to Alopecia Totalis where there is a loss of all of the hair on the scalp or Alopecia Universalis where all body hair is lost including the eyebrows and eyelashes.

Alopecia Areata can affect both men and women and around 2-3% of the population is affected in their lifetime.

Alopecia Areata can be treated with steroid injections, topical treatments and immunosuppressive medications. Usually, hair transplantation is not a treatment option for those suffering from Alopecia Areata as the immune system attacks the transplanted hair in the same way.

While the incidence of Alopecia Areata is small, pattern hair loss affects a much larger percentage, with 50% of men suffering from male pattern hair loss by the time they are 50. Given this, many who suffer from hair loss will empathise with Jada who should be applauded for being open about her hair loss and how it has affected her. There is great reassurance for those suffering from hair loss to hear that they are not alone.

Find out more about the psychological effects of hair loss, and why treatment options are so important. . Jada Pinkett Smith is not the only woman to suffer with hair loss. Learn how one Irish woman has dealt with Alopecia Areata.

To talk to the team about hair loss and how we can help you contact 01 209 1000.

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