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is hair loss or balding. It may happen on any part of the body. There are many types of alopecia. Some types cause temporary hair loss and your hair will grow back. With other types, hair loss can get worse, or cause permanent hair loss.

Common symptoms that occur with alopecia:

  • Burning, tingling, or itchiness on your scalp
  • Hair that easily breaks
  • Problems with your fingernails or toenails, such as notching or pitting
  • Scales or flakes from the areas of hair loss
  • Swelling and redness on your scalp

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your symptoms get worse even with treatment.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment for alopecia

depends on the cause. You may need medicines that promote hair growth, work with your immune system, or increase your hormone levels. You may also need medicines that treat infections. A hair transplant may be your only treatment option. Your healthcare provider will talk to you about all options available for your type of alopecia.


Relief from alopecia depends on the cause of your symptoms and your treatment. Alopecia may go away and then come back. It also may continue, even with treatment. The following may help you manage alopecia:

  • Avoid hair and scalp trauma. Use a soft-bristled hair brush and wide-toothed comb to protect your scalp from damage. Avoid the overuse of chemicals on your hair. Avoid hairstyles that pull your hair too much.
  • Eat healthy foods. Hair loss can be caused by poor nutrition. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Eat healthy snacks, such as low-fat yogurt, if you get hungry between meals.
  • Reduce stress. Try to get enough sleep and daily exercise. Learn new ways to relax, such as deep breathing, meditation, and listening to music. These may help you cope with stressful events.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Your healthcare provider may recommend that you see a specialist such as a dermatologist or endocrinologist. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Alopecia (Ambulatory Care)

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.