Treatment for Alopecia Areata in Ayurveda
I am a 33-year-old male suffering from alopecia areata. Is there any treatment or medication available for this condition?
Alopecia areata refers to patchy hair loss. It is often sudden in onset and the hair usually grows back in six months to a year. However, when the hair grows back in one area, it may fall out in another. In some people, the hair may become thinner without any patches of baldness. In others, it may grow and break off, leaving short stubs which resemble ‘exclamation points’. Alopecia areata is generally considered an autoimmune condition, in which the body attacks its own hair follicles. Depending on the extent of your hair loss, the doctor will be able to suggest some treatment. Here are a few possible options you can consider but do consult a trichologist before you opt for something. (Read: Patchy hair loss – homeopathy to the rescue!)
If your hair loss is not widespread, the hair is likely to regrow in a few months without treatment. For severe forms, small amounts of steroids like triamcinolone may be injected into your affected scalp patches to stimulate hair growth. Other options such as oral steroids, immune-suppressants or ultraviolet light therapy are available for severe cases but they have potential side-effects or risks. (Read: Hair loss treatment: Cosmetic and surgical methods)
Contact immunotherapy may be the most effective treatment for severe alopecia areata. A medicine is applied on your scalp once a week which irritates the skin and makes it red and scaly. Hair growth may appear within 3 months of beginning treatment. Side-effects include a severe rash (contact dermatitis) and swollen lymph nodes. Psoralen with Ultraviolet A Light (PUVA) therapy may also be used to treat alopecia areata if you have large areas of skin affected by the disorder or you cannot use other treatments. A medicine, called psoralen, is used to make the scalp more sensitive to ultraviolet A (UVA) light before exposing it to the same. (Read: Can hair loss be reversed with non-surgical methods/stem cell treatments?)
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