Alopecia Areata Essay

This essay has a total of 1689 words and 7 pages.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is a non-life threatening hair loss disease. It may not literally kill
you, but in other ways deep down it could. I know this from my personal life. I have been
an individual that has been suffering from alopecia for the past six years. Itís not easy
living in this world with it. I feel at times that itís a pain just to go to school and be
in public with my disease.

It does not matter where you go but people are always starring at you and whispering about
you, because you have no hair or bald spots throughout your scalp. I know that my disease
has changed me and made me be the person that I am. Due to always looking different to
others, Iíve grown to never judge people by their looks. Iím as normal as any other
person, except for the fact that I loose my hair and at times Iím almost completely bald.

I chose to research Alopecia areata as part of my portfolio because not only will it help
my grade in genetics it will help me understand and learn more about my disease. I have
never been fully educated about what I have. My parents donít understand it either. At
first when I found out what I was suffering from my mother and I tried everything we
could, at one point I was getting 60 shots of steroids in the scalp. Back about three
years ago, I gave up going to all the different Doctor appointments. By doing that I was
hoping that my Alopecia areata would run itís course and my hair would just grow back and
stay for good. Now That I have been doing this research on it and finding out that I am
not alone with this. Iím going to do something about my disease and hopefully find
something that will help. I already know that there is no cure but Iím sure there are some
kind of pills that may help. Itís worth trying anything to get my hair back.

The definition of alopecia areata is an inflammatory hair loss disease. Many of the facts
and the on set of the hair loss are unknown. Many doctors and researchers have came up
with a great amount of hypothesis and theories on the disease. Many suggest that it is an
autoimmune disease. They also suggest that itís where ones own immune system prevents hair
follicles from producing hair fiber.

As I was doing my research I came across the autoimmune part and totally lost. Itís a
breakdown in the immune system. As we know every person produces their own cell types that
fight off disease and infection. In order to fight off the bad bacteria our bodies must be
able to recognize the bad known as antigens (often proteins) on the surface of the UN
wanted invaders. Everyoneís immune system should be able to recognize the bad, and be able
to fight it off. In an autoimmunity this is where the immune system is not able to
recognize the invaders and fight them off.

This is not known for sure if this is what alopecia areata is. It is a hypothesis, itís
based on certain antigens in the hair follicle. Many reports and printouts I came across
kept saying, ďthe etiology of alopecia areata is entirely unknown"(e.g. Price 1991, Parret
1984, Paus 1993). According to (editorial 1984) evidence hair loss is a result of immune
system activity. Which is then classified as an autoimmunity. This evidence is based on
observations of an immune cell in and around the hair follicles (Parret 1984) and the
knowledge that some people with the disease can re grow hair when under going
immunosuppressive therapy. Immunosuppressive therapy is a suppression of the immune
response. It is done through drugs and or radiation. They have found out that the immune
system is acting normal against abnormal hair follicles.

Through all the research that Iíve been doing, I keep coming across the line that itís
still unknown. This disease is still being researched. Itís not really safe to say an
autoimmunity is what Alopecia areata is for sure, but a good hypothesis. There us no cure
that has been found for Alopecia areata yet. It has a course that it runs. Many of the
doctors and researchers that are on top of Alopecia areata feel that it is something to do
with the nervous system. They think it could also be something to do with the emotional
stress on certain people.

Iím going to refer back to me for a prime example. All the doctors that I have seen for my
disease have ruled it to my stress as the main cause for my hair loss. When I first began
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