Definition: a common condition of undetermined etiology characterized by circumscribed, nonscarring, usually asymmetric areas of baldness on the scalp, eyebrows, and bearded portion of the face. Hairy skin anywhere on the body may be affected; occasionally follows autosomal dominant inheritance. Peribulbar lymphocytic infiltration and association with autoimmune disorders suggest an autoimmune etiology. Slow enlargement with eventual regrowth within 1 year is common, but relapse is frequent and progression to alopecia totalis may occur, especially with childhood onset.
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