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Alopecia (Essay Sample)

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Brief discussion on alopecia, Several differential diagnosis methods, treatments, and prevention measures

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Alopecia
Alopecia is a common condition that affects men, women and children. It is a resulting state of effluvium, a technical term given to hair loss, and thus, alopecia can be referred to as partial or complete loss of hair (Kahan, Miller and Smith 18). Alopecia may present significant loss or absence of hair affecting the scalp or other hair-bearing parts of the body (Kahan, Miller, and Smith 18). Similarly, hair loss accompanies normal growth, and human tend to shed hair every day, regardless of the season (Brooks and Robertson 221). Human shed up to 200 scalp hair per day, which is normal, however, for many males, and smaller number females, the failure of the hair to re-grow results to baldness (Brooks and Robertson 221).
Kahan, Miller and Smith, characterize alopecia as scarring, also referred to as cicatricial and non-scarring (18). Scarring alopecia is caused by several dermatological conditions that also affect glabrous (non-hairy) skin, and can be difficult to diagnose, where as non-scarring alopecia is more common and largely differentiated by the absence of detectable inflammation of the involved skin (Kahan, Miller and Smith 18). In light with this, there a plethora of facets that cause alopecia, and they encompass; diseases, and the immune system's white blood cells, which attack the rapidly growing cells in the hair follicle, thence, amounting to shrinking of the follicle and reduction of hair production (Marshall Cavendish Corporation 40). The most common diseases that cause alopecia comprise of; diabetes, lupus, thyroid disorder, secondary syphilis, and fungal infection (Marshall Cavendish Corporation 40). Also, poor nutrition, such as protein or iron deficiency, medical treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and uses of drugs, medical conditions, and hereditary disorder, can actuate alopecia (Marshall Cavendish Corporation 40).
In line with this, the disease affects different parts of the body, as well it interferes with the hair growth cycle, which comprises of three crucial stages; transitional phase (catagen), resting phase (telogen) and anagen (growing phase) (Verret 9). Consequently, different forms of alopecia are exhibited; alopecia areata, which is a result of an immune disorder, and characterized by hair falling out in patches or clumps, androgenetic alopecia, alopecia totalis, alopecia universalis and alopecia effluvium (Itami and Inui 497). The principal symptom of the disease is hair loss, which is manifested through different stages. The processes in every stage are gradual, in turn making the stages difficult to discern (Marshall Cavendish Corporation 40). In tandem to this, the prevalence of the disease varies with the type and the genetic composition of the people, and the prevalence of androgenic alopecia and alopecia aerate are significantly unknown (Verret 11). Further, several studi...
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