Alopecia Areata and long term chronic stress


Alopecia areata is loss of hair due to the autoimmune system attacking the hair follicles, causing them to shrink. The resulting appearance is of a series of round bald patches of varying size, which can often grow over time to affect the entire scalp.

There are a number of reasons that can cause this to happen and can leave psychological long-term chronic stress. How we look is important and for many, loss of hair can be an embarrassment especially for women. With such a lot of focus aimed at fashion and hair styles keeping up with the latest styles can be damaging not only to hair but skin and bodies.

Often the long term psychological conditions can be worse than the initial condition, and as hair loss can be caused by stress, the condition can go round in circles. Hair loss and baldness can lower self-confidence as people are often judged by the way they look particularly on initial meetings. As with the face, it is important to most people to look their best and can have a detrimental effect on a person’s well-being when they feel embarrassed or self-conscious.

The long term effects of alopecia areata can last longer than the initial problem. Whilst there are products on the market to help with regrowth, if stress or anxiety are still present hair could start to thin again. Having a good healthy diet will help as the essential nutrients that the hair follicles need to produce healthy hair roots will be present. Professional help will find the cause of the hair loss and help with regrowth, this in turn will help to boost self-confidence and overcome psychological problems caused by hair loss.

The normal life cycle of a hair follicle has three phases. The growth phase on the scalp known on anagen can last from three to five years, growing at around 1cm a month. This is followed by the catagen phase which lasts around two weeks and lastly the telogen stage will last about three months when the hair stays in the follicle and does not grow.

At the end of phase three the old hair in the follicle is replaced with new hair and so the cycle starts again. If the hair follicle is destroyed then the cycle is stopped and new hair is not produced. As more research is being done on the hair and hair follicles there is more understanding as to why certain groups of people lose their hair.

There are some self-help ways to encourage growth of hair. As with the body exercise stimulates the system and circulation, this in turn improves skin cells and hair follicles. Taking relaxation sessions after a busy or stressful day will make a difference to the way in which the body is working. When a person is feeling run down and without energy the first signs can often be in the hair which can become lifeless and begin to thin

Seeking the right advice will cut down on some of the anxiety that can be caused when hair is thinning. There have been written reports showing how much effect hair loss and baldness can have on a person especially a woman. Depression can set in and this can last long after the hair starts to grow back. There is the fear of it happening again, this causes stress starting hair loss again.

Stress is not always the cause, illness, medication and environment are just three causes but whatever the reason to that person it can be a huge issue. Although there has been an improvement in wigs that are now very lifelike, light and can be worn anywhere even in water, the wearer can still feel uncomfortable. Each individual needs to have their own ‘formula’ to help grow hair back.

Taking care of the whole body in general will always help with how well hair follicles produce new hair, just as it helps with the condition of the skin. The body’s mechanism is intricate and needs to be taken care of. Of course, this does not stop all hair loss and this is why it is important to seek medical advice if a large hair loss is noticed. For many causes there are solutions and with ever advancing technology more treatments are available.

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