Alopecia areata (AA) is a form of hair loss that usually presents as clearly defined bald patches of skin. It commonly occurs on the scalp or beard areas, but can occur on any part of the body. It is classified as an autoimmune disease and occurs more frequently in individuals that have an affected family member.
AA occurs when an individual’s own T cells, a type of immune cell, attack their own hair follicles. These immune cells gather around the hair follicles causing inflammation and subsequent hair loss, specifically an unscarred bald spot.
AA is most commonly treated by a series of steroid injections.