Alopecia universalis

Alopecia universalis is the most extreme form of Alopecia areata, one Autoimmune disease, which leads to hair loss. This specific form involves the complete loss of all body hair, including scalp hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, pubic hair, and all other body hair. Alopecia universalis is a rare disease and can affect people of all ages, although the exact causes are not yet fully understood.


As with other forms of alopecia areata, alopecia universalis is thought to be caused by a malfunction of the immune system in which the Hair follicles mistakenly viewed as foreign and attacked. Genetic factors also play a role, and in some cases a link to other autoimmune diseases has been observed.


The main and most obvious symptom of alopecia universalis is the complete loss of all body hair. This can happen suddenly or gradually and is often permanent, although cases of partial or complete hair regrowth have been reported.


The diagnosis of alopecia universalis is based primarily on the patient's clinical presentation. Doctors may perform a scalp biopsy to rule out other causes of hair loss and confirm the diagnosis.


Treating alopecia universalis is challenging and there is no guaranteed cure. Treatment options aim to modulate the immune system and promote hair growth, but their effectiveness varies from person to person:

  • Corticosteroids : May help suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation.
  • Immunotherapy : Chemical substances that cause an allergic reaction on the skin can, in some cases, stimulate hair growth.
  • JAK inhibitors : Drugs that block Janus kinases have shown positive results in some cases but require further research.


The prognosis for people with alopecia universalis varies. Some may experience partial or complete hair regrowth, but in many cases the condition persists. Because the condition can have significant psychological impact, it is important that those affected have access to emotional support and counseling.

Dealing with the disease

Losing all body hair can be emotionally stressful and affect the self-image of those affected. Psychotherapy, support groups, and other forms of support can be crucial in dealing with the psychological effects. Many sufferers also find solace in cosmetic solutions such as wigs, eyebrow pencils and false eyelashes.

It is important for individuals suffering from alopecia universalis to seek expert medical advice to explore the best treatment options available and receive support in managing the condition.

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