Alopecia totalis

Alopecia totalis is a more severe form of Alopecia areata, one Autoimmune disease, which leads to hair loss. While alopecia areata usually causes circular hair loss on the scalp or body, alopecia totalis results in the complete loss of all hair on the scalp. It is a rare condition that can affect people of all ages, but often begins in childhood or early adulthood.


The exact cause of alopecia totalis is unknown, but as with other forms of alopecia areata, the immune system mistakenly attacks it Hair follicles which leads to hair loss. Genetic predispositions along with environmental triggers appear to play a role.


The main characteristic of alopecia totalis is the complete loss of all hair on the scalp. In contrast to alopecia areata, in which hair loss is usually limited to small areas, in alopecia totalis there is no longer any hair presence on the scalp.


The diagnosis of alopecia totalis is usually based on the clinical appearance of the scalp. Doctors may also perform a scalp biopsy to rule out other causes of hair loss and confirm the diagnosis.


Treating alopecia totalis can be difficult, and there is currently no guaranteed cure. The treatment options available aim to promote hair growth and modulate the immune system:

  • Corticosteroids : May be used as injections or in oral form to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system.
  • Immunotherapy : Certain chemicals such as DPCP (diphenylcyclopropenone) are applied to the scalp to produce an allergic reaction that can stimulate hair growth.
  • JAK inhibitors : Drugs that block Janus kinases, an enzyme important in the immune response, have shown positive results in some cases.


The prognosis for people with alopecia totalis varies. While some people may experience partial or complete hair regrowth, for others the condition persists or worsens Alopecia universalis, the loss of all body hair.

Dealing with the disease

Dealing with alopecia totalis can be emotionally challenging because the appearance is greatly affected. Supportive measures such as psychotherapy, support groups, and wearing wigs or head coverings can help improve self-esteem and quality of life.

It is important to see a dermatologist if you suspect alopecia totalis to obtain an accurate diagnosis and develop an individualized treatment plan.

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