In alopecia areata, the immune system attacks the body’s own hair follicles—leading to patches of hair loss on the scalp, face, and other areas of the body.
Typically, these bald patches appear suddenly and in some patients can involve the whole body. Recurrence is common and most sufferers will have several episodes during their lifetimes. A small percentage of patients have persistent hair loss even with treatment.
Alopecia areata has been shown to lead to significant psychosocial impacts in patients, negatively impacting self-esteem, body image, and/or self-confidence.