What is alopecia areata?

Updated: Jun 07, 2018
  • Author: Chantal Bolduc, MD, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Alopecia areata is a recurrent nonscarring type of hair loss that can affect any hair-bearing area and can manifest in many different patterns. Although it is a benign condition and most patients are asymptomatic, it can cause emotional and psychosocial distress. See the images below.

Patchy alopecia areata. Patchy alopecia areata.
Ophiasis pattern of alopecia areata. Ophiasis pattern of alopecia areata.

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