Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles.
This type of condition affects people of all ages and unfortunately children as well.
In fact, alopecia areata is the first cause of hair loss in children.
The psychological impact that alopecia areata can have on a child can be devastating, especially in an environment such as a school, where the sufferer may often have to endure the derision and ridicule of classmates.
Alopecia areata how does it manifest itself?
Alopecia areata usually begins with falling strands of hair causing smooth and usually round glabrous patches. In some cases the hair may become thinner without the appearance of glabrous patches or it may grow and break leaving short stems with the classic “exclamation point” shape..
In rare cases, alopecia areata becomes universal and leads to complete loss of hair and body hair.
Falling due to alopecia areata is discontinuous, hair can grow back for several months in one area and fall out in another.
Alopecia areata: indication of other pathologies?
Alopecia areata is sometimes considered the symptom to get to make diagnoses for more important diseases from the organic point of view.
Often it is in fact combined with other autoimmune disorders such as celiac disease, endocrine disorders related to the thyroid, food and intestinal intolerance problems especially to gluten or lactose. .
Alopecia areata: how is it treated?
Alopecia areata is not easy to treat, especially because of theconstant recurrences that characterize it.
The most common treatment is to use corticosteroid injections into the glabrous patches on a monthly basis. In some cases, topical corticosteroids or antralin-based creams are also used.
Therapies based on the use of drugs that modulate the immune response, however, have significant side effects and especially in children it is preferred to avoid this type of therapy..
Alopecia areata: the important role of the microbiota of the skin and intestine
New recent studies have highlighted the important role of the skin and gut microbiota. Their modification can increase the immune and inflammatory response thus acting as a main cause or concause of alopecia areata..
The involvement of the microbiome in alopecia areata is evident and opens new frontiers for the treatment of this pathology.
The human microbiome is nothing more than the set of all microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi) that populate our body and their genetic heritage.
Each area of the body hosts its own microbial community (microbiota). Having a microbiome in balance allows you to be protected from inflammatory, metabolic and allergic diseases.
When the delicate balance of the microbiome is altered in the number and ratio of microorganisms that compose it, we speak of a state of dysbiosis.
As well as the intestine, the skin has its own microbiota and its alteration seems to be a driving factor not only in inflammatory skin diseases such as dermatitis but also in autoimmune disorders such as alopecia areata.
For cases of alopecia areata especially in children it becomes importantto treat the dysbiosis of the gut and scalp microbiota because this could lead to a more effective treatment of the condition.
This is the new frontier in the treatment of infantile alopecia areata, a road undoubtedly less dangerous than the traditional one and that in light of the most recent studies seems to give a better response in terms of therapeutic results.