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How To Stop Alopecia Areata From Spreading? Find Out How!

By Jessica Rivera

Updated On

Fact Checked By: SWA Research Team

The article herein was crafted with AI assistance under human supervision.

Are you struggling with alopecia areata? You’re not alone. Many people deal with this autoimmune condition that causes hair loss in patches on the scalp and other parts of the body. While there’s no cure yet, there are steps you can take to manage the condition and potentially stop it from getting worse. In this article, we’ll explore some strategies that may help.

Understanding Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata

Before we dive into how to stop alopecia areata from spreading, it’s important to understand what it is. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder where your immune system mistakenly attacks your hair follicles, causing hair to fall out in small, round patches. It can affect people of all ages, but often starts during childhood or the teenage years. While the exact cause isn’t known, factors like genetics, stress, and other autoimmune conditions may play a role.

Alopecia Areata And Effective Prevention Techniques For Managing Hair Loss

Gain insights into this autoimmune condition and learn how to mitigate its impact on your hair health.

Seeking Medical Help

One of the most important things you can do if you suspect you have alopecia areata is to see a doctor, preferably a dermatologist who specializes in hair loss. They can properly diagnose the condition and recommend treatments based on the severity and extent of your hair loss. Some common treatments include:

  1. Corticosteroids: These anti-inflammatory drugs can be injected into the affected areas, taken orally, or applied as a topical cream or ointment to help suppress the immune system and promote hair regrowth.
  2. Minoxidil: This topical medication, also known as Rogaine, is often used to treat other forms of hair loss and may help with alopecia areata as well.
  3. Immunotherapy: This involves applying chemicals like diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP) or squaric acid dibutyl ester (SADBE) to the scalp to stimulate an allergic reaction and potentially kick-start hair growth.
  4. JAK inhibitors: These are a newer class of drugs that have shown promise in treating alopecia areata by blocking certain enzymes involved in the immune response.

Reducing Stress

While stress doesn’t directly cause alopecia areata, it can trigger or worsen flare-ups. Finding ways to manage stress is crucial for overall health and may help with hair loss as well. Some stress-reducing techniques include:

  1. Relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or tai chi can help calm your mind and body.
  2. Regular exercise: Physical activity releases endorphins, improves mood, and reduces stress.
  3. Adequate sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to help your body and mind recharge.
  4. Counseling or therapy: Talking to a mental health professional can help you develop coping strategies and work through any emotional challenges related to hair loss.

Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle

In addition to reducing stress, adopting a healthy lifestyle may help support your immune system and overall well-being. This includes:

  1. Eating a balanced diet: Focus on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Some studies suggest that certain nutrients like zinc, biotin, and vitamin D may be beneficial for hair health.
  2. Avoiding harsh hair treatments: Minimize the use of heat styling tools, harsh chemicals, and tight hairstyles that can damage hair follicles and exacerbate hair loss.
  3. Protecting your scalp: Use sunscreen or wear a hat when spending time outdoors to protect your scalp from sun damage.
  4. Not smoking: Smoking can worsen inflammation and may contribute to hair loss.

Exploring Alternative Therapies

While more research is needed, some alternative therapies may help with alopecia areata. Make sure that you consult a physician before initiating any new treatment. Some options to consider include:

  1. Acupuncture: This is a traditional Chinese healing method practiced with fine needles placed at precise body points to promote healing and decrease inflammation.
  2. Herbal remedies: Certain herbs like ginseng, green tea, and Chinese hibiscus have been studied for their potential hair growth-promoting properties.
  3. Essential oils: Massaging the scalp with essential oils like lavender, peppermint, or rosemary may improve circulation and promote hair growth.
  4. Scalp massage: Gently massaging the scalp with your fingertips for a few minutes each day may stimulate blood flow and reduce stress.

Dealing with alopecia areata can be emotionally challenging, and it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Joining a support group, either in-person or online, can provide a sense of community and allow you to connect with others who understand what you’re going through. Sharing experiences, tips, and encouragement can be a valuable part of your journey.

Conclusion

While there’s no guaranteed way to stop alopecia areata from spreading, taking a proactive approach can help manage the condition and potentially improve hair regrowth. Working closely with a dermatologist, reducing stress, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and exploring alternative therapies are all strategies worth considering. Remember, everyone’s experience with alopecia areata is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. 

It’s important to be patient, stay positive, and focus on overall health and well-being. Have you tried any of these strategies for managing alopecia areata? What has been most helpful for you in your journey? Share your experiences and tips in the comments below to help support others facing similar challenges.

References:

Mirzoyev SA, Schrum AG, Davis MD, Torgerson RR. Lifetime incidence risk of alopecia areata estimated at 2.1% by Rochester epidemiology project, 1990-2009. J Invest Dermatol. 2014;134:1141–2. [PMC free article]

King B, Ohyama M, Kwon O, et al. Two Phase 3 Trials of Baricitinib for Alopecia Areata. N Engl J Med. 2022;386(18):1687-1699.[doi:10.1056/nejmoa2110343]

Jessica Rivera

Dr. Jessica Rivera has more than 10 years of experience in the cosmetic industry as a hair care specialist. As a licensed cosmetologist, she has an in-depth understanding of hair and scalp health and a strong desire to support others in achieving their hair goals. Dr. Jessica is also a reputable author and supplement reviewer, specializing in hair care products and ingredients. Her engaging and informative writing style makes complex topics accessible to a wide audience. Dr. Jessica is committed to assisting her readers in making well-informed decisions regarding their hair care routines in order to attain healthy, beautiful hair.

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