Dealing with the Effects of Alopecia

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While a fairly uncommon condition, alopecia still affects millions of people around the world of all ages. It can be incredibly difficult to cope with and come to terms with the diagnosis because it can change your appearance quite noticeably. However, whether it is you or someone you know that is suffering, you are far from alone. In this article, we have some advice for dealing with the effects of alopecia. 



What is Alopecia? 
Alopecia is actually an autoimmune condition, and one that is more accurately classed as a chronic inflammatory disease – making it quite a bit more than your hair simply falling out. The way it works is that the condition tricks your immune system, making it see your hair follicles as a foreign body that needs to be attacked and removed. It can affect men and women, as well as all ages, and there are three main forms of alopecia:

- Alopecia Areata. General patchiness and loss of partial amounts of head hair. 
- Alopecia Totalis. Complete hair loss on the head, no patches remaining. 
- Alopecia Universalis. Complete hair loss across the entire body (including eyebrows).

It is a painless condition overall, although there are some that do experience mild skin irritation and soreness as a result of the hair loss. For those that end up losing their brows and lashes, there can also be irritation of the eyes because debris cannot be effectively filtered out anymore.

How to Deal with the Emotional Impact 
It will be hard to deal with the range of emotions that come with alopecia, and it affects everyone differently. Some people experience depression as a result of their hair loss, and others bounce back quickly and take it on the chin. There is no shame in your reaction, and learning to deal with the emotions is the first step. 

At first, you will likely notice people staring, even assuming you have a condition like cancer. It is often difficult to accept this at first, and the new attention can be unsettling. However, over time it is important to try and embrace your new look as much as possible for your own mental health. You can also try wearing wigs if it makes you feel more comfortable while you are out. 

It takes determination and a good dose of time, but it will become easier for you to handle the emotions that come with the diagnosis. One thing we strongly suggest is visiting a therapist and talking over things with them. Professional help is nothing to be ashamed of, and they can help you find healthy and productive coping mechanisms. 

Getting Your Confidence Back 
75% of men feel less confident when they lose their hair through alopecia, and for women, the figures are even higher. In many of our cultures, hair is seen as an important part of the way we look, and losing it all can change things quite drastically. It can be a real knock to your confidence when you first lose your hair, as well as distressing to watch it all fall out. However, your confidence doesn’t need to be gone forever, and we have a few tips for you to get it back:

- See a therapist (the best and most effective option)
- Start exercising to help you feel good about yourself
- Dress up and show off your stuff 
- Get outside and try not to be afraid 
- If you’re a guy, grow a beard, they look amazing with a bald head 

To Conclude 
The emotional impact and loss of confidence that often accompanies alopecia can be very hard to shake, and it is a battle that will come with many struggles. Over time, we know you are going to get there – whether you have the support of others or yourself. If you want to read more about alopecia and its emotional impact, we have an informative and detailed guide that you should check out. 






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