What is androgenetic alopecia? Why, it’s the most common cause of baldness experienced by men! But did you know it’s not the only type of alopecia there is? There’s also alopecia areata, which is another frequent culprit behind hair loss. Luckily, like androgenic alopecia, scalp micropigmentation (SMP), also known as scalp tattoo or a head tattoo, is a great form of treatment!
Types Of Alopecia Areata
There are several types of alopecia areata:
- Alopecia areata (patchy): Alopecia areata (patchy) is when you have one or more round or oval, coin-sized tracts of hair loss on your head or other parts of your body. This may later turn into complete hair loss on your head or complete hair loss all over your body. When it just stays patchy, which it usually does, this form of alopecia is called persistent patchy alopecia areata.
- Alopecia totalis: This is the name for complete baldness of the scalp.
- Alopecia universalis: When you lose all the hair on your body it’s known as alopecia universalis. That means no hair on your head, face, and body, sometimes even including nose hair!
- Diffuse alopecia areata: Does stress cause hair loss? Yes! That’s what diffuse alopecia areata, sudden and acute thinning of all the hair on your head, hard to diagnose. It looks like other forms of hair loss!
- Ophiasis alopecia: this is when you lose hair on the sides and lower back of your head in the shape of a band.
What Causes Alopecia Areata
Androgenetic alopecia is what you get when someone with a genetic predisposition toward male pattern baldness experiences the reaction that occurs when enzyme Type II 5-alpha reductase and testosterone on their scalp. The result, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), is what triggers the hair loss.
Included in the list of everything you need to know about alopecia areata is the fact that the disease is caused by your immune system attacking your hair follicles by mistake. Your hair follicles are alive even if you have alopecia areata, so it’s not uncommon for the disease to go away or for the disease to cycle on and off.
Treatments For Alopecia Areata
Male pattern baldness has a different cause from alopecia areata and, as a result, is treated differently. Androgenetic alopecia is what people with genetic predispositions toward baldness get when the enzyme Type II 5-alpha reductase makes contact with testosterone on the scalp. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the result, and it’s that chemical that triggers hair loss. Since alopecia areata, is the result of the body’s immune system attacking hair follicles, the treatments are different.
A common treatment is intralesional corticosteroid injections. That’s when steroids are injected into the hairless patches with a small needle every four to six weeks. If this treatment works, results start to become noticeable within four weeks. The shots don’t prevent new bare patches, though. These injections are often accompanied by topical minoxidil (Rogaine) applications.
Some people apply anthralin cream or ointment once a day for 30 to 60 minutes. Anthralin is synthetic, and almost like tar in its appearance. It’s commonly used to deal with psoriasis. If it works, you’ll see some results within eight to 12 weeks. Similarly, topical corticosteroids are also an option, often accompanying other forms of treatment.
Scalp Micropigmentation For Alopecia Areata
The problem with all the treatments for alopecia areata is that the results are varied and that they don’t prevent future balding. Scalp micro pigmentation (SMP), meanwhile, provides consistent results and renders further balding moot. That’s because no matter how much hair you lose, your head tattoo will make it look like you just got a fresh buzzcut! Best of all, you don’t have to change your life in any way because getting a scalp tattoo takes only two to three sessions. After that, you’re good to go, even if you’re hair keeps going too! Speak to an expert scalp micropigmentation practitioner today to learn more.