This is a disease that happens when the body’s immune system attacks its own hair follicles. This can cause hair loss anywhere on the body. Many people with alopecia areata are healthy in other ways. They lose hair and sometimes their nails change, but otherwise they are healthy.
The hair loss is usually hard to predict. Without treatment, hair may grow back. When someone has a few bald spots, this is more likely to happen. When the hair grows back, it may or may not fall out again. If you have alopecia areata and it affects your nails, you might see dents, ridges, or nails that are weak. Some people get nails that are red.
It can start at any age, but most people get it when they are young or in their teens. About half of them see their hair grow back on their own within a year if they don’t do anything.
If the hair grows back, it might not fall out again. It’s also possible to lose and grow hair in unpredictable cycles for years.
A child is more likely to get alopecia areata if a parent or close blood relative has or had the disease. Even though the risk is higher, not every child who is more likely to get alopecia areata will get it.
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