What is alopecia? It’s no laughing matter for millions of Black American women
Science & Technology
31st Mar, 2022
The Oscar slap that overshadowed the Academy Awards ceremony brings Alopecia in news.
- Alopecia is a medical word that refers to hair loss And there are descriptors added which can refer to where the hair loss is occurring, or to the cause of it.
- Traction alopecia, for example, is hair loss from trauma or chronic inflammatory changes to the hair follicles.
What causes alopecia?
- Traction alopecia happens when there is trauma to the scalp, where the hair is being pulled or rubbed on a regular basis, causing inflammation around the hair follicles. This can lead to hair loss or thinning.
- Alopecia areata describes hair loss to a particular area. It has different levels of severity, so there might be just a coin-sized area of hair loss on the scalp, or it could affect large areas. It can occur at any place on the body.
- Or it might result in complete hair loss on the scalp, alopecia totalis. Some people lose eyebrows or see a thinning of their eyelashes.
- People can even have alopecia universalis, which is a loss of hair on the entire body.
- Alopecia areata is considered an “immune-mediated” type of hair loss. The immune system is attacking the hair follicles. It has to do with T cells, the important white blood cells in the immune system.