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Could this bald spot be alopecia areata?

 
I’ve had strong, healthy long hair for years, but when my mom was doing my hair the other day, she found a bald spot. My stepdad took a look and said it might be alopecia areata. What’s that?

 

“Alopecia areata” is a fancy way of saying a person loses hair in round patches. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the hair can fall out of the scalp or elsewhere on the body, and it can often grow back in.

 

It’s important to know that this sort of hair loss isn’t associated with a contagious disease or with stress. What happens with alopecia (areata and other varieties) is that your immune system starts attacking your hair follicles, which causes the hair to fall out. You can be totally healthy, except for this one problem.

 

Often you’ll notice clumps of hair falling out, creating a round, coin-sized bald spot where you once had hair. It can happen to anyone, and typically begins in childhood. If you think you might have alopecia areata, you should visit a dermatologist. She can perform the necessary skin tests and prescribe a treatment plan.

 

Good luck, girlie!
 
 

BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 9/15/2011 12:00:00 AM

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