What you need to know about alopecia areata

These women came together to talk about Alopecia, an autoimmune disease the causes hair loss. There is no cure. (L-R) Kesandre Brown, Pamela King, Sharon McCreary, Nichole Aldridge, Sharla Ponder and Terriwana Cauthen. They showed off their baldness In a lighthearted moment in the Enquirer studio, Wednesday, June 8, 2022.

After "the slap" at this year’s Academy Awards, the topic of alopecia suddenly was thrust into the national spotlight. As many as 6.8 million people in the United States and 147 million people worldwide are affected by alopecia, a common autoimmune skin disease that causes hair loss on the scalp, face and sometimes other areas of the body, according to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. There is no cure.

People of all ages, both sexes and all ethnic groups can develop alopecia areata, but it is more common among African Americans, studies have shown. It often first appears during childhood and can be different for everyone who has it. The most common forms are alopecia areata patchy (one or more coin-sized hairless patches on the scalp or other areas of the body), alopecia totalis (total loss of the hair on the scalp), and alopecia universalis (complete loss of hair on the scalp, face and body).

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