What is Alopecia Areata?

An Autoimmune Disorder

Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes varying degrees of hair loss, depending on the category of Alopecia Areata. This hair loss can include complete loss on the scalp, face, or other body hair. 

A Fairly Common Disease

While it may not be extremely well known, Alopecia Areata is a common autoimmune disorder that affects over 6.8 million people in the U.S. 

Frequently Asked Questions


There are three kinds of Alopecia Areata: Alopecia Areata Patchy (small patches around the scalp), Alopecia Totalis (total loss of hair on the scalp), and Alopecia Universalis (complete loss of hair on the scalp and body).

Can Hair Grow Back?

The fortunate news for someone with Alopecia Areata is that their hair follicles remain active, despite the hair loss. Therefore, regrowth is absolutely possible and can happen when they least expect it.

Is Alopecia Areata Genetic?

In order for a child to develop Alopecia Areata, both of his or her parents have to contribute a certain amount of very specific genes. This makes it likely that other factors, such as one's environment, can contribute to the development of the disease.


Since Alopecia Areata causes one's white blood cells to recognize their healthy hair follicles as bad cells, the white blood cells literally attack the hair follicles. Unfortunately, there is not a single answer about what causes this attack. It can be the result of stress, an infection, etc.

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