Can I Pass Alopecia on to My Children?
It is possible, but not likely, for
alopecia areata to be inherited. Most children with alopecia
areata do not have a parent with the disease, and the vast
majority of parents with alopecia areata do not pass it
along to their children.
Alopecia areata is not like some
genetic diseases in which a child has a 50-50 chance of
developing the disease if one parent has it. Scientists
believe that there may be a number of genes that predispose
certain people to the disease. It is highly unlikely that a
child would inherit all of the genes needed to predispose
him or her to the disease.
Even with the right (or wrong)
combination of genes, alopecia areata is not a certainty. In
identical twins, who share all of the same genes, the
concordance rate is only 55 percent. In other words, if one
twin has the disease, there is only a 55 percent chance that
the other twin will have it as well. This shows that other
factors besides genetics are required to trigger the
Source: Adapted from National
Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Part 1: What is alopecia areata?
Part 2: Is alopecia heredity?
Part 3: Is my hair loss a serious disease?
Part 4: Treatments for alopecia
Part 5: Will my hair grow back?
Part 6: How can I cope with alopecia?
Part 7: What can I expect later in life?