What is alopecia areata?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder, can cause hair loss. In autoimmune disease, the body’s immune system, which normally protects us against germs, goes haywire and starts attacking the body itself.  In this case, the hair follicles as if it were an infectious intruder. The hair can fall out in small areas, which is the most common form, or you can lose the hair on your entire head and body, including eyelashes, underarm hair, and pubic hair. There are many treatments for it, so if you are losing patches of hair, it is definitely worth asking your doctor what you can do. Ignoring it does not tend to make it go away.
YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life

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YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life

A few years ago, we wrote YOU: The Owner’s Manual, which taught people about the inner workings of their bodies—and how to keep them running strong. But you know what? There’s a big difference...

Continue Learning about Baldness and Hair Loss

Baldness and Hair Loss

Men and women naturally lose hair as they age, with about two-thirds of men either bald or showing a pattern of baldness by age 60. Yet other hair loss can be triggered by sudden physical or emotional stress, childbirth, crash die...

ts, medication such as antidepressants, autoimmune conditions such as lupus, and thyroid diseases. Another form of hair loss, called alopecia areata, causes bald patches on the scalp, beard, eyebrows and eyelashes. Discuss any sudden hair loss with your doctor.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.