There are three types of auto-immune alopecia conditions. They are discussed in detail below.
Treatment of alopecia or pattern hair loss may simply involve accepting the condition. Intervention that can be tried include the medications minoxidil or finasteride, and surgery. Alopecia areata may be treated by corticosteroids injections in the affected area but these need to be frequently repeated to be effective. Pattern hair loss by age 50 affects about half of males and a quarter of females. About 2% of people develop alopecia areata at some point in time.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease in which hair falls out in small, round patches about the size of a quarter. In many cases, the disease does not extend beyond a few bare patches. Often it causes bald spots on the scalp, especially in the early stages. due to the body’s failure to recognize its own cells. The immune system subsequently destroys the hair follicles as though they were invaders.
Alopecia Totalis is the loss of all head hair. Its causes are unclear, but believed to be genetic autoimmune condition that has an unknown trigger and can sometimes be "untriggered" for unknown reasons. Usually appears in two types, either being a fairly sudden and complete loss of all head hair or being a slower form that originates as alopecia areata (patchy loss) and advances to complete scalp hair loss. In this sense it is sometimes associated with alopecia areata.
Alopecia universalis, or alopecia areata universalis, is a medical condition involving rapid loss of all hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes. It is an advanced form of alopecia areata. Alopecia universalis can occur at any age and is believed to be an autoimmune disorder, in which a person's immune system attacks the hair follicles. Genetic factors may contribute to AU as approximately 20% of those affected have a family member with alopecia.