Alopecia Areata - A literature Review
Alopecia areata (AA) is a disease marked by extreme variability in hair loss, not only at the time of initial onset of hair loss but in the duration, extent and pattern of hair loss during any given episode. This variable and unpredictable nature of spontaneous re-growth and lack of a uniform response to various therapies has made clinical trials in alopecia areata difficult to plan and implement. It is a type of alopecia that affects males and females equally. It occurs in both children and adults. The peak age of occurrence is 20 to 50 years .The most common clinical presentation is asymptomatic shedding of telogen hairs followed by patchy non scarring hair loss in association with nail pitting, Beau’s line and nail dystrophy. The disease may progress from this limited presentation to total loss of all scalp hairs (Alopecia totalis) or all body hair (alopecia universalis) with significant onychodystrophy. Mostly it is characterised by reversible hair loss involving the scalp although others areas of head including eyelashes, eyebrows and beard may also be affected. Although, it is a mostly cosmetic problem but it often has devastating effects on quality of life and self-esteem. The paper aims at providing an overview of Alopecia areata.
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