Alopecia is a characterized by loss of hair, has great impact on the person diagnosed with it. Disagreeing with the common notion, Alopecia universalis does not only affect men, but also women and children. It can affect any place on the body, from small region to whole body. Its onset is characterized by factors like autoimmune system, genetics and exposure to various aspects of environment. There are several types of alopecia disease, of which 70% of people have androgentic alopecia. Another form of dermatitis alopecia, called Alopecia areata is found among 0.1%-0.2%. There are two main kinds of alopecia, namely non-cicatricial (non-scarring) alopecia and cicatricial (scarring) alopecia. The main difference between two types of alopecia is that cicatricial alopecia leads to permanent scarring and loss of hair, where as in non-cicatricial alopecia hair follicles remain intact and there is chance for them to regenerate.
Diffuse alopecia is type of alopecia areata that causes scalp hair thinning in large amounts, where in androgentic alopecia only patches are seen. It is a non-scarring alopecia, due to which it goes undiagnosed in patients. Due to autoimmune mechanism there is disruption in hair fiber growth.
Alopecia totalis/universalis is a subset of alopecia areata, which involves total body hair loss. Approximately 5% of androgenetic alopecia cases will progress to alopecia totalis diagnosis. In many cases, the diagnosis of androgenetic alopecia can be made where there is a slight trace of hair loss and there are no skin changes. Alopecia totalis has the same physical characteristics except that it affects the whole of the scalp and alopecia universalis affects the entire body. The hair loss progresses over a few weeks’ time and are isolated, flat, and circular. Sometimes burning and pruritus are the initial symptoms that initiate the hair loss. Hair are short and look like they have been broken off from the scalp.White hair are ignored in the early stages of Androgentic alopecia, and so in adults, it can looks like all the hair has rapidly turned gray, while in some patients, regrowth may start with fine white. Speedily progressive hair loss in alopecia areata (AA) points to different histopathologic features, beginning from early stages to well-established disease stage.