By THE NEW YORK TIMES
December 28, 2010
“Alopecia areata is a lifelong disorder. Most individuals have patches of hair loss that come and go with triggers: stress, metabolic or endocrine disorders, and even nutritional deficiencies. Alopecia totalis, which involves loss of all the hair on the scalp, accounts for about 20 percent of all cases of alopecia areata. Once alopecia totalis occurs, there is a heightened tendency for it to recur. It is prudent to treat even patchy alopecia areata in these types of patients.”
In today’s Science Times, Claudia Dreifus interviews Angela Christiano, a researcher who began studying hair loss after a hairdresser discovered a bald spot at the back of her head. She has since discovered several genes that contribute to alopecia areata, a fairly common condition that causes hair loss, either in discrete patches or all over the body.
Dozens of readers had questions about alopecia areata when it was featured earlier this year in an installment of the Patient Voices multimedia series and in Science Times, “A ‘Forest Fire of Hair Loss’ and Its Scars.” This week, Dr. Wilma F. Bergfeld, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic and an expert on hair disorders, joins the Consults blog to answer many of these questions. Dr. Bergfeld serves as director of the dermatopathology fellowship and professor of dermatology and pathology at the Cleveland Clinic Educational Foundation and is also an asssociate clinical professor in the department of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University.
Many of the girls adversely affected by the HPV vaccines are suffering from hair loss. Research has suggested that they may now be suffering from this condition.