Statistics have it that at least 2% of the population in the United States is facing a lifetime risk for Alopecia areata. It may also be true to include that you have visited this blog to try and seek some answers for yourself, a friend or a family member. Whatever your reasons are, rest assured knowing that most of your questions will be covered here and explained comprehensively.
First, I have to commend you because the very first step to effective management of this condition is education. You have to understand what this condition is all about before we can answer questions like whether Alopecia areata is hereditary. Alopecia simply means hair loss. Alopecia areata is responsible for causing small, round, coin-sized patches of baldness on someone’s head. It can also affect hair on the beard, eyelashes, eyebrows and the body at large. When it involves the whole scalp, it is known as Alopecia totalis. When it includes the scalp and entire body, it is known as Alopecia universalis.
Note that it affects both males and females of any age but mostly one will notice the first symptoms before the age of 21.
Causes of Alopecia areata
Alopecia areata is classified as an autoimmune disease. This means that unlike allergies which are over-reactions to foreign antigens, autoimmune diseases are caused by over-reactions to self-antigens.
In our case, the body defense system mistakenly identifies the hair follicles as foreign and attacks it hence resulting in hair loss. The good news is that although the normal growth cycle of hair is disrupted, the hair follicles remain undamaged. Although, not guaranteed the hair might grow back in a matter of months or years. Also, for those who succumb to Alopecia areata at an advanced age, the chances of hair regrowth are high.
Hereditary or not?
The reason as to why the immune system chooses to attack the hair roots is still unknown, but some experts have attributed it to genetics. Although a factor of concern, there are other factors involved.
It is a common occurrence that an individual with Alopecia areata develops another autoimmune condition like diabetes, thyroid disease or vitiligo. This is because these people are in an ancestral gene pool where autoimmunity is evident. On the other hand, this fact is not gospel as there are people with autoimmune conditions who have no background with abnormal immunity.
With this in mind, it brings us to a theory that some environmental factors known as triggers are may be liable in the development of Alopecia areata and other autoimmune diseases. These triggers include trauma, stress, infection, surgery, or hormonal change caused by pregnancy.
It is clear to researchers that both heredity and environmental triggers play a significant role in the manifestation of Alopecia areata, but it remains a mystery to their degree of participation. However, it is evident that when it comes to the genetics, you need a multiplex of AA genes although not clear how many. It is also hard to tell the strength and the persistence of the AA genes in an individual. Another observation is that the disease skips generations without a predictable pattern.
According to statistics, 0.05-0.1% of the total population have Alopecia areata at the same time. Be it small patches or complete hair loss. According to other studies conducted more recently, the lifetime risk for any member of the population to contract this condition is at 2%.
I have Alopecia areata what are the chances that my children will have it?
Studies put it that the incidence of AA is higher between blood relatives placing the probability at a 1/5 chance. However, since the collected data is of very distant relatives, the actual risk is determined to be much lower than that. Therefore, the chances that your little ones will have AA are minimal.
If your parent has Alopecia areata, the cause for concern is also understandable. If you do not have the disease, your scalp is still intact, and the risk is also small.
All that said, there is no direct answer to the question whether AA is hereditary. All you should know is that if your family has a history with alopecia, you may be at risk but that should not cause alarm. Some good news as we conclude is that alopecia may be incurable but is manageable. Try our Febron hair building fibers today, and you can forget the patches. With a 30-day money back guarantee, we want to see you get value for your money.