Health Tip: Skin Disease Causes Baldness

Understanding alopecia areata

(HealthDayNews) -- Millions of people in America are losing their hair because of alopecia areata -- an unpredictable autoimmune skin disease, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Hair follicles affected by the condition are attacked by a person's own immune system, causing hair growth to stop. Alopecia areata usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth bald patches on the scalp and can progress to total hair loss.

After a person with the condition loses hair it may regrow, only to fall out again. The course of the disease varies, and no one can predict when the hair might regrow or fall out again.

There is no cure for this disease. While treatments may promote hair growth, new patches of hair loss may still emerge.

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