Is My Alopecia Hair Loss a Symptom of a Serious
Alopecia areata is not a
life-threatening disease. It does not cause any physical
pain, and people with the condition are generally healthy
otherwise. But for most people, a disease that unpredictably
affects their appearance the way alopecia areata does is a
The effects of alopecia areata are
primarily socially and emotionally disturbing. In alopecia
universalis, however, loss of eyelashes and eyebrows and
hair in the nose and ears can make the person more
vulnerable to dust, germs, and foreign particles entering
the eyes, nose, and ears.
Alopecia areata often occurs in
people whose family members have other autoimmune diseases,
such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease,
systemic lupus erythematosus, pernicious anemia, or
Addison's disease. People who have alopecia areata do not
usually have other autoimmune diseases, but they do have a
higher occurrence of thyroid disease, atopic eczema, nasal
allergies, and asthma.
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?