My son was just diagnosed with alopecia areata. Can you explain what this is and whether or not it can be treated with hair transplantation?
Alopecia areata is a dermatologic condition felt to be caused by the body not recognizing the hair follicle cells as part of the body and therefore rejecting them. The result is patchy areas of hair loss when it is alopecia areata. In alopecia totalis it can involve the entire scalp, whereas alopecia universalis involves the total body.
It is best treated medically with things like steroid injections and other treatments that a dermatologist can recommend. Hair transplantation can treat the area down the road after the lesions have completely resolved several years later when there is a much lower risk of a recurrence of the process and therefore success is more likely.
Posted by Jeffrey S. Epstein, MD, FACS