Androgenic Alopecia and Alopecia Areata are two types of Alopecia which people seem to easily confuse. These two types of Alopecia are easy to mix up because they are both types of baldness, yet they have different origins within a person. Whenever there are different variations of one single thing, people are bound to confuse them. In kindergarten, we confused our reds and our blues, our ones and our twos, and all the other things Dr. Suess talks to us about. Don’t you wish you could go back to those days? But now, we are dealing with some big kid things, and it’s time to get focused and learn about two of the most common types of baldness.
Androgenic Alopecia, sometimes called Androgenetic Alopecia or male pattern baldness, is a type of Alopecia that is the result of genetic factors and androgens. It is often referred to as male pattern baldness because thinning occurs in a pattern on the head (this is different from female pattern baldness which happens everywhere). The Androgenic variant is inherited and can be slowed down by medication and treatment but never cured. Androgenic Alopecia is treated in various ways including Rogaine, hair laser therapy, and hair transplant surgery.
Alopecia Areata is different from Androgenic Alopecia and cannot be treated in the same ways that it can. It is medicated with types of steriods, light therapy, and sometimes Minoxidil if the hair loss is in a confined area. Alopecia Areata begins with patchy hair loss and can in some cases eventually result in complete hair loss on the body. The official cause is unknown, but it is suspected that it is the result of an immune system issue. Researchers believe the body attacks the hair and kills it off.
Though Androgenic Alopecia and Alopecia Areata are both closely related, they are two different disorders with two different causes. One is caused by various genetic factors, and the other is likely to be caused by an immune disorder malfunction. If you ever get confused between the two, just think Andro-genic (genetic). Next time, I’ll discuss the three different types of Alopecia Areata! As if there couldn’t be any more categorization.