Alopecia barbae refers to hair loss that affects the beard area of men. It can occur around the mouth, chin, cheeks and neck and is a form of alopecia areata – one of the most common forms of hair loss. Alopecia barbae is said to affect around two percent of males between the ages of 30 and 40. It’s believed that alopecia is an autoimmune illness in which the immune system thinks the hair follicles are a threat to the rest of the body, then attacks them, causing inflammation and hair loss. Alopecia areata isn’t catching, but it does occur more frequently in people who have affected family members, suggesting that heredity factors.
The good news is that in the majority of cases, the hair fully grows back on its own. However, the time frame is unpredictable. It could be weeks, months, or years. For severe cases, it appears that a doctor can prescribe a steroid regimen to slow the spread of the bald patch. Minoxidil, commonly known by the brand name Rogaine, can also be used in a treatment plan. However, any of the drugs prescribed would carry the possibility of side effects, so it may be best simply to wait it out. Although beard bald spots can be upsetting – especially if the beard is long standing and has had uniform growth – but stress isn’t going to help the situation, it’ll get better in its own time.
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