What Is Alopecia Areata / Alopecia Totalis?
Alopecia areata occurs when the immune system attacks your hair follicles. A lot of times, this happens due to severe stress. The main symptom of alopecia is hair loss. There are treatments that could potentially help, but there is no cure for alopecia. Other symptoms that you may find are itching, anxiety, or small dents in your nails.
Alopecia totalis usually starts out as the same alopecia areata but over time becomes more severe. The main symptom of alopecia totals is a complete loss of all head hair. This type of alopecia starts with losing small patches until it spreads until all head hair has fallen out. Another symptom may be brittle, pitted nails.
Also, men and women are both affected by alopecia. The most common ages affected are anywhere from 19 years old to 60+ years old.
My alopecia story began before I even knew about it. About 2 years ago, life got pretty crazy for me. From my bad car accident to the stresses of school and losing my dog Harvey, my stress levels were higher than they had ever been. I noticed that there were patches of hair on my arms that were missing, but I didn't think anything of it. Then one day, I noticed a small patch of my hair was gone from my head. I was so scared, I had never seen anything like this.
I had done research online which lead me to all sorts of things. I had no idea what to think so I went to the doctor to see what he had to say. When he told me that I had alopecia... I was terrified and devastated. I had three options at this point; 1- Get cortisone injections INTO MY HEAD!, 2- Apply a steroid rub daily, OR 3- Don't get treatment. I went with #2.
Time had past and my patch had grown larger, making me even more worried as to what will come. I found a product that helped cover the patch so that I could feel confident again. I was able to wear my hair straight again and also I was able to not worry about if the wind blew my hair around. This is the product that I used:
My Alopecia Today.
About a year of having missing hair, it finally started to grow back. In the meantime, I learned to embrace my alopecia. Alopecia is something that can be very negative in your life; however, it can be something very positive too. During this process I learned that hair does not define beauty. It's all about how you see yourself. As soon as I embraced alopecia as part of who I am, I felt confident and did not find the need to hide my missing hair anymore.
Now, I have hair growing in. Slowly, but surely. Every persons case is different, sometimes they have a reoccurring case, and sometimes they never lose hair again. But until then, I am very glad I had the chance to learn about this immune disorder and that so many people, just like you and me, have it!
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If you have anything you would like to add please leave me a comment! Also, I would love to hear some of your alopecia stories or questions!