Alopecia areata patterns

Alopecia areata patterns

Alopecia areata patterns

Alopecia areata is clinically classified according to the pattern with which it presents:

  • Alopecia totalis: As the word ‘totalis’ (total) implies, extensive patchy hair loss causing total baldness of the entire scalp is experienced by those suffering from this pattern.
  • Alopecia universalis: The word ‘universalis’ means ‘universal’ and is used to describe complete hair loss affecting the entire body, including the hair on the scalp as well as that of the eyebrows, eyelashes, pubic area, and limbs, as well the inside of the nose.
  • Ophiasis: In this pattern, hair loss is localised and presents on the lower back and sides of the scalp (similar to that of an undercut).
  • Reticular: Extensive hair loss is experienced in coalescent patches (i.e. patches that unite to form one mass).
  • Sisaipho (ophiasis inversus): This is the reverse of ophiasis wherein hair is lost on the top of the head, sparing the sides lower back of the head (hence the term is just spelled backwards).

Illustration showing normal hair condition versus alopecia areata.

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