Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, place where the hair growth begins. The damage to the follicle is usually not permanent. But the cause of the immune system attacks the follicles is unknown. Alopecia areata is most common in people younger than 20, but children and adults of any age may be affected. Women and men are affected equally. Alopecia areata usually begins when clumps of hair fall out, resulting in totally smooth, round hairless patches on the scalp. In some cases the hair may become thinner without noticeable patches of baldness, or it may grow and break off, leaving short stubs. In some rare cases, complete loss of scalp hair and body hair occurs. The hair loss often comes and goes but, hair will grow back over several months in one area but will fall out in another area. When alopecia areata results in patches of hair loss, the hair usually grows back in a few months. Although the new hair is usually the same color and texture as the rest of the hair, it sometimes is fine and white. About 10% of people with this condition may never regrow hair.
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Last date updated on June, 2014