Managing alopecia areata

The exact aetiology remains unknown, but its likely to have an autoimmune origin

Familiarity with current therapies will help GPs manage this condition and inform patients of realistic expectations.


Alopecia areata is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the hair follicles that results in non-scarring hair loss.

It is characterised by T-cell-mediated peribulbar inflammation, which induces dystrophic changes in anagen (actively growing) follicles that cause their premature transition to the catagen and telogen (non-proliferative) stages of the hair cycle.1,2

The lifetime risk of developing alopecia areata is approximately 2%, with no sex