What Is Alopecia Areata – Causes & Risk Factors For Circular Hair Loss


Definition of Alopecia Areata – Circular hair loss: Causes and risk factors of this autoimmune disorder

Circular hair loss is the most common hair loss disease. It is an autoimmune disease and affects 5 million people in the United States. Here you will find everything you need to know about Alopecia areata.

Circular hair loss (alopecia areata): definition

Circular hair loss is an autoimmune disease of the hair roots that causes sudden hair loss. This is local and is concentrated in concentric or oval circles (spots). Depending on the shape, these bald patches appear on the head or anywhere on the body.

The hair loss on the face and scalp is particularly visible. This inflammatory disease affects two percent of people in America. Alopecia areata is the most common hair loss condition. The disease affects women more often than men. The median age of onset is 30 to 40 years. The ICD code for circular hair loss is L63

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Circular hair loss: causes

The central cause of circular hair loss is the autoimmune reaction. In doing so, cytotoxic CD8 and T cells (lymphocytes) attack the hair roots and destroy them. Because the hair lacks hold when the hair roots are lost, they fail.

The result is local hair loss that can spread or occur elsewhere. Since the disease occurs in batches, there are phases with increased hair loss and symptom-free phases.

This entire cycle forms an increased amount of the interleukins IL-17A, IL-23 and IFN-γ. They also play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis and other skin diseases such as neurodermatitis, psoriasis and vitiligo.

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An overview of other risk factors for alopecia areata:

1- Stress
2- Inflammation
3- Vitamin D deficiency
4- Heavy metals
5- Viruses


Stress is one of the important indirect causes of circular hair loss. The flare-ups correlate with phases of increased physical stress.

The increased tendency to inflammation in the body and the increased immune activity increases the risk of autoimmune reactions in stress.

Stress is not only a cause but also a consequence of the illness. Patients can suffer psychologically from the aesthetic limitations and suffer from complications such as depression.

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Sensitivity and infection also have a significant impact on the development of alopecia areata. According to studies, the CRP level is drastically increased when the disease breaks out.

Chronic inflammation elevates the risk of autoimmune reactions via an imbalance of the immune cells and adds heightened risk for autoantibodies.

The body’s state of being inflamed appears to be an independent risk factor for circular hair loss.

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Vitamin D deficiency

Official guidelines do not yet take this into account. According to studies, however, the extent of the disease correlates with vitamin D deficiency.

The more pronounced this is, the clearer the symptoms. Alopecia areata sufferers clearly show an above-average vitamin D deficiency.

The lack of Vitamin D favors an inflammatory climate in the body. It is now, too, considered an independent risk factor for autoimmune diseases.

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Heavy metals

Heavy metals are another cause of circular hair loss, which science and the public also have not yet considered.

Those affected have increased amounts of the metals cadmium, cobalt and lead. The antioxidative trace elements copper and manganese, however, are deficient.

Since heavy metals change the body’s own proteins and some of them demand excretion through the skin, they promote autoimmune diseases of the skin.

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The cells involved and the interleukins formed (messenger substances of the immune system) provide information on the connection to viruses.

We can actually combat viruses in the hair roots, or molecular mimicry can occur. In the latter, the immune system “confuses” hair roots with viruses and falsely fights them.

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Alopecia Areata: symptoms

The symptoms of circular hair loss limit themselves to skin symptoms. Chronic inflammation also plays a role in the disease, but it is not noticeable.

1- Sudden, circular hair loss
2- Exclamation point hair
3- Co-morbidity
4- Hair loss

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Sudden and localized hair loss

The main symptom of circular hair loss is sudden and localized hair loss. It is far higher than the average hair loss of 70 to 100 hairs a day.

The disease affects cyclical or oval areas on the body in the relapses, these are clearly visible. I want you to note that with the various forms of the disease, hair loss can occur in different areas of the skin.

Exclamation point hair

At the edge of the bare surface, one can discover so-called exclamation point hairs. They are short and broken off hairs that grow around the hair loss area.

They tend to narrow down the closer they get to the scalp, and they mimic an exclamation point; hence their name.

These become thinner towards the bottom because the cornification is already disturbed. The bare surfaces usually have no inflammation or scaling.

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Although this is not a symptom of circular hair loss, it is noticeable. Sufferers often develop other diseases such as autoimmune diseases. The reasons are similar causes like inflammation, nutrient deficiency, stress and heavy metals.

The most common comorbidities are:

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
Graves’ disease
Addison’s disease
Ulcerative colitis
Crohn’s disease
Type 2 diabetes

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Dear co-creators

What are your experiences with Alopecia Areata? Do you have a homemade remedy that wards off inflammation of the scalp, itchiness and/or hair loss?

Do you know any secret formula that offers relief and you would like to share with us? I am certain that many readers will embrace your helpful potions.

If so, then, please, do this in a comment below. We are all looking forward to your story and suggestions.

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Remember, you are unique spiritual beings; here to learn, expand, have fun and help to uplift this world into a much higher, more peaceful and love-filled dimension.

Thus, thank you for your devotion, endurance, bravery and existence. You are cherished, appreciated and endlessly loved. ~Namaste~




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