Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Alopecia universalis

Alopecia universalis is recognized by the loss of all body hair. Most sufferers are children and young adults (below 40 years old), though it can affect people of all ages. In its early stages, the usual ratio of hairs in anagen (growing) and telogen (resting) phases is disturbed and more hairs enter the telogen stage, leading to sudden hair loss in small patches, which gradually widen with time until the hair loss is total. The exact cause is still unknown, although current theories include an autoimmune disease, stress or suggest a genetic basis.