AT is an auto-immune disorder which results in the total loss of hair, but only on the scalp. Alopecia areata is considered to be one of the autoimmune disorders - lymphocytes around the hair follicles release chemical messengers (called cytokines) that reject the hair for unknown reasons.
AT usually appears in two types: One being a fairly sudden and complete loss of all head hair. The other being a slower form which originates as Alopecia Areata (patchy loss) and advances to complete scalp hair loss.
Most sufferers are children and young adults under the age of 40, though it can affect people of all ages. It can also affect the the nails, giving them a ridged, pitted or brittle appearance.
Cause of Alopecia Totalis
- Drug induced Lupus (SLE)
- Lupus erythematosis
- Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD)/Undifferentiated
- Thallium poisoning
- Down syndrome