Three Types of Alopecia: Areata, Totalis, Universalis

by Staff Writer

What is Alopecia?

Alopecia simply means “hair loss.” It is the medical term for hair loss and there are numerous forms of alopecia. Today, we’ll look at three different terms that include the word alopecia:

• Alopecia Totalis
• Alopecia Universalis
• Androgenetic Alopecia

Alopecia Totalis

Alopecia Totalis is thought to be an autoimmune disorder that causes loss of all head hair. Unlike androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness), there are no remaining patches or areas with hair on the scalp once alopecia totalis has run its course. It is still questonbly believed that stress is a major contributing factor in causing alopecia totalis, despite the fact that many people who suffer from it report low stress levels.

Alopecia Universalis

Also sometimes called alopecia areata universalis, alopecia universalis is the term used to describe rapid loss of hair all over the body. It includes head hair, eyebrows, and even eyelashes. It is the most severe form of hair loss and is believed to be an autoimmune disorder. While many treatments have been explored, no standard treatments exist for this condition.

Androgenetic Alopecia

Androgenetic alopecia
is the most common type of hair loss. It is also referred to as male or female pattern hair loss and is abbreviated as AGA. Heredity and hormones are the two major factors that can cause this type of hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia causes more than 95% of hair loss in men. Women are greatly affected by it as well, in part due to the same gentetic factors found in me as well as other contributing facters like ovarian cysts, high androgen index birth control pills, pregnancy, and menopause.

To learn more about alopecia, please visit the home page for The American Hair Loss Association. You can learn about additional types of alopecia, including alopecia areata and scarring alopecia, and find out more about causes, diagnoses, and treatments for hair loss.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lashondria Lane October 12, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Does alopecia totalis/universalis sufferers hair grow back…??

Tina July 16, 2011 at 12:10 pm

My ex husband has a cousin whose hair falls totally out, but then will grow back. She has 2 wigs for use during periods of baldness. I am unsure which form of alopecia she has, but have been told that the hair does come back entirely before falling back out. She is in her 30’s now, and has had this since her childhood. Hope this gives a little insight.

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