What Is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia areata is considered an autoimmune disease. It mistakenly attacks the hair follicles. This can lead to hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere. In most cases, hair falls out in small, round patches about the size of a quarter. In some people, hair loss is more extensive. Although uncommon, the disease can progress to cause total loss of hair on head, face and body.
Who gets Alopecia?
Alopecia areata affects an estimated four million Americans of both sexes and of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. It often begins in childhood. If you have a close family member with the disease, your risk of developing it is slightly increased. If your family member lost his or her first patch of hair before age 30, the risk to other family members is greater. Overall, one in five people with the disease has a family member who has it as well.
What Causes Alopecia?
In alopecia areata, immune system cells called white blood cells attack the rapidly growing cells in the hair follicles that make the hair. The affected hair follicles become small and drastically slow down hair production. Fortunately, the follicle always has the potential to regrow hair. Scientists do not know exactly why the hair follicles undergo these changes, but they suspect that in addition to treatments to help hair grow, there are measures that can be taken to minimize the physical dangers or discomforts of hair lost.
If you are suffering from Alopecia and are experiencing hair loss due to this condition, low level laser therapy would be an excellent solution for you.
The Savin scale of hair loss in women was developed in 1996 by Dr Savin, based at Yale University, and colleague Dr Tranick who worked for the pharmaceutical company Upjohn. They felt that there was a need for consistent methodology for the recording and classification of hair loss patterns and hair density variations in men and women with androgenetic alopecia. They came up with 9 computer images, which are now typically referred to as the Savin scale, as an accurate pictorial classification scale to quantify pattern hair loss clinically in women.
Today there are four different scales of hair loss in women put forward by different doctors (the Ludwig scale, Olsen scale, and the Ebling-Rook scale), but the detail of the Savin scale has made it popular with pharmaceutical companies conducting clinical trials of treatments for pattern hair loss in women.
In the first image (labeled I-1) the central parting of a woman with no hair loss is shown. The images 2 to 4 (labeled I-2, I-3, I-4) the width of the parting gets progressively wider indicating thinner hair along the center of the scalp. The images labeled II-1 and II-2 show diffuse thinning of the hair over the top of the scalp. The image labeled III represents a woman with extensive diffuse hair loss on top of the scalp, but some hair does survive. The image labeled “advanced” represents a woman with extensive hair loss and little to no surviving hair in the alopecia affected area. Very few women ever reach this stage and if they do it is usually because they have a condition that causes significant, abnormally excessive androgen hormone production. The last image in the Savin scale is somewhat different, it shows a woman with a pattern of hair loss that is described as “frontally accentuated”. That means there is more hair loss at the front and center of the hair parting instead of just in the top middle of the scalp.
Laser Hair Enhancement is successful for many men and women with Alopecia Areata, however Individual results will vary. A simple hair and scalp evaluation can assist in determining the likelihood of success of the laser service. (Low Level Light Therapy and Hair Replacement service in Buford GA)