Dermatology

Is the branch of medicine dealing with the skin, nails, hair (functions & structures) and its diseases, It is a specialty with both medical and surgical aspects. A dermatologist is specialist doctor that manages diseases, in the widest sense, and some cosmetic problems of the skin,

Alopecia Areata

Also known as spot baldness is a condition in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body. Often it results in a few bald spots on the scalp, each about the size of a coin. Psychological stress may result. In a few cases, all the hair on the scalp or all body hair is lost and loss can be permanent.

Alopecia areata is believed to be an autoimmune disease resulting from a breach in the immune privilege of the hair follicles. Risk factors include a family history of the condition. Among identical twins if one is affected the other has about a 50% chance of also being affected. The underlying mechanism involves failure by the body to recognize its own cells with subsequent immune mediated destruction of the hair follicle.

The treatment: The affected area is patched, the hair may regrow spontaneously in many cases. None of the existing therapeutic options are curative or preventive. In cases of severe hair loss, limited success has been achieved by using the corticosteroid medications clobetasol or fluocinonide, corticosteroid injections, or cream. Application of corticosteroid creams to the affected skin is less effective and takes longer to produce results. Steroid injections are commonly used in sites where the areas of hair loss on the head are small or especially where eyebrow hair has been lost. Whether they are effective is uncertain, Some other medications that have been used are minoxidil, Elocon (mometasone) ointment (steroid cream), irritants (anthralin or topical coal tar), and topical immunotherapy ciclosporin, sometimes in different combinations