Alternative Treatments for Alopecia Sufferers

Alopecia is a term used to describe hair loss and may affect both men and women as well as young people. There are several different types of alopecia, which may cause loss of scalp hair, eyebrows and eyelashes.

alopecia

Types and Causes of Alopecia

While the most commonly recognised form of alopecia is alopecia areata, there are three other types of the inflammatory condition. In The Essential Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and Herbal Supplements, Brewer (2010), highlights four types of alopecia, to include the following:
  • alopecia areata – hair lost in patches, usually on scalp
  • alopecia totalis – total loss of scalp hair
  • alopecia universalis – loss of hair over entire body
  • alopecia androgenetica – widespread hair loss, moth-eaten appearance
The exact cause of alopecia still remains unknown, although stress is believed to be a significant factor in promoting hair loss, through reducing the supply of blood to the scalp. There are also possible links between the non-scarring condition and anaemia (iron deficiency), enzyme imbalance, under-active thyroid and abnormal immune response. Clearly more research into this condition is required, to make the daily lives of alopecia sufferers less difficult.

Alternative Treatments for Alopecia Sufferers

Typical outcomes associated with alopecia, involves 50% of sufferers having their hair follicles begin to recover, within the space of a year. However, some individuals (approximately 10%) may experience a gradual worsening of alopecia over time.

Coping with alopecia may include wearing a wig, although some sufferers prefer to opt for wearing hats and scarves. Celebrity alopecia sufferer Gail Porter is helping make the condition more well-known through confidently attending functions without covering up.

Brewer (2010) identifies alternative approaches which may be helpful treating suffers affected by alopecia, as follows:
  • iron supplements
  • biotin
  • ginkgo
  • vitamin B5
  • evening primrose oil
Biotin, in particular, is part of the B vitamin group, which has been recognised to play an important role in hair growth and repair. Biotin supplements may be purchased from high street pharmacies such as Boots and most health food shops such as Holland & Barrett. Another alternative treatment which may help alleviate alopecia symptoms includes evening primrose oil. This may be due to the fact that evening primrose oil is identified to have anti-inflammatory properties and also helps promote skin repair.

As highlighted above, while the exact cause of alopecia is unknown, many factors may play a part, such as stress, anaemia and thyroid problems. Alternative treatments for helping alopecia sufferers, include iron supplements, biotin, vitamins and evening primrose oil, with the latter having anti-inflammatory properties.

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Fitness Expert

Written by Fitness Expert

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