Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disease that causes a person's hair to fall out as the immune system attacks the hair follicles. Hair often falls out in clumps and can be maintained in a small area or may lead to severe hair loss.
What are the symptoms?
- Hair loss on the scalp and other areas of the body
- Itching as the hair regrows
- Uneven regrowth of hair
Who gets it?
Anyone can be affected by alopecia areata, and nearly 2% of the American population will develop the disease at some point. Some people may have an increased risk if they have a family history of the disease or of other autoimmune disorders such as diabetes or lupus. Children and young adults are also commonly affected.