Alopecia areata is a form of hair loss that often affects the scalp and/or the beard, although eyebrows and eyelashes can also be involved. There may be a strong family history and there is a strong association with other conditions including psoriasis, vitiligo and thyroid disease. Low vitamin D levels have also been linked to alopecia areata.
What is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition. An autoimmune condition is where the body attacks itself. In the case of Alopecia Areata, it results in isolated patches of hair loss mainly affecting the scalp and beard with skin appearing very shiny. There is preservation of the hair roots. In the absence of scarring there is the potential for hair to grow back. Regrowth of hair is ‘white’ initially and the presence of regrowth hair is often a good sign of potential recovery. Generally the younger the patients are at the start of the condition the poorer the outcome. More widespread alopecia areata is less likely to regrow. In general the extent of recovery for alopecia areata is very difficult to predict.
Intralesional Steroid Injections are first line for Alopecia Areata
There are different treatment options available for alopecia areata but no treatment is guaranteed to cure the condition. Unfortunately it can come back. Topical steroid creams and injection of steroid into patches of hairless skin (intralesional) have been shown to yield positive results. This is recommended as FIRST LINE treatment for Alopecia Areata.
Suggested treatment courses should be a single round of steroid injections every 4 to 6 weeks. These injections can be repeated 3 to 4 times with results appearing after 1 -2 months. At Rejuvence Clinic we have treated a number of individuals with steroid injections in hairless patches with good success. For further details please contact us for a consultation.
©Individual results may vary.
Minoxidil 5% is contained in many over the counter topical shampoo preparations, such as Regain™, that encourage hair growth. About 40% of males tend to respond and even this is after at least 9 to 12 months of use. Reducing or stopping use of these products can result in regrowth hairs falling out. Minoxidil is recommended for alopecia areata, especially if steroid treatment is slow to work.
Caffeine containing shampoos claim to have hair growing potential. A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, in 2014, demonstrated growth promoting effects of caffeine on human hair in both males and females. There was a suggestion that caffeine maybe more effective in male and female pattern hair loss rather than alopecia areata.
There are thousands of over the counter supplements that are available for hair loss. They all claim to improve hair loss, whether it be Alopecia Areata or pattern hair loss. There are no published studies highlighting any particular type of supplement. However, there is no doubt that the correct choice of supplements can help. It is important to realise that the causes of Alopecia Areata are multiple and they may be working together to make the condition worse. As mentioned above, low Vitamin D levels, an underactive thyroid and low iron levels can all contribute to hair loss.
At Rejuvence Clinic we offer Hair Facts. This is a unique hair supplement that is only available at Rejuvence. It is different to other supplements in that it is a cyclical vitamin therapy that pairs supplements together on different days to ensure that all vitamins and supplements are absorbed efficiently as opposed to other supplements that just bundle lots of ingredients together. The results of Hair Facts are there to be seen and it has proven to be extremely popular. For further details please look at our page on Hair Facts. To book a consultation please contact our clinic.
At Rejuvence we offer intravenous vitamin drips tailored to specific needs. Our Hair Boost Drip consists of a combination of vitamins and biotin and can help improve the quality of your existing hair as well as improve hair loss. In alopecia areata it can be a supplemental treatment but should only be taken alongside conventional treatments such as steroid injections.
A combination of microneedling and blood plasma therapy has been gaining popularity in the treatment of hair loss. Microneedling is considered a collagen induction treatment that can result in follicular stimulation and hair regrowth. Plasma therapy stimulates fibroblasts that can initiate hair regrowth. Reported effects in alopecia areata are encouraging for patients who do not respond to steroid treatment. It is also an excellent alternative for those suffering with wide spread alopecia areata. Finally, if performed on a yearly basis it can help prevent flare ups of alopecia areata.
Many clinics offer plasma therapy in the UK and abroad. However, it is very important to understand that not all plasma therapy is the same. In order for plasma to work, especially in stubborn cases of Alopecia Areata, the concentration of clotting cells in the plasma needs to be between 1000 and 1500. This amounts to around 4 to 5 times normal concentrations. In most clinics using test tube plasma kits the maximum concentration does not even reach 3 times.
At Rejuvence Clinic we use the Magellan™ system. This is considered to be the ‘Rolls Royce’ of plasma therapy systems.
Hair Transplants CANNOT be performed for patients suffering with long term and widespread alopecia areata. Grafts implanted into the affected areas will not grow and the transplant is likely to be a failure. We strongly advise all our patients suffering with widespread alopecia areata not pursue a hair transplant.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR ALOPECIA AREATA
At Rejuvence we have a tremendous passion for the potential of plasma therapy. We specialise in plasma therapy and especially its use in hair loss and in alopecia areata. We have treated many suffering with Alopecia Areata. For an honest assessment and treatment options that really work please contact us to book a consultation.