Alopecia Barbae and its effects on your beard

Alopecia Barbae and its effects on your beard

Is your lush beard giving way to unexplained bald patches? You are not alone! Various men of all ages face unexpected beard hair loss at varying intervals. And this condition often gets worse over time if ignored!

So what is going on? Spontaneous beard hair loss is often caused by your immune system mistakenly attacking your beard hair follicles. This autoimmune disorder is called ‘Alopecia Barbae’ and can be largely reversed if treated promptly.

Read on to learn more about Alopecia Barbae and the best Alopecia Barbae treatments and home remedies to restore your beard to its former glory. Let us begin!

What is alopecia barbae?

Alopecia barbae is a hair loss condition that primarily affects the beard and mustache. It is a form of Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune disorder where your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy hair follicles on your scalp, eyebrows, mustache, beard, etc. (Pratt et al., 2017).

Alopecia barbae causes beard hair loss in random, circular patches. But it usually doesn’t affect your overall physical health (Cronkleton, 2018b). Also, most cases do not cause permanent hair loss, and you can grow your beard back quickly with the right treatment and remedies for fast beard growth.

However, Alopecia Barbae is not entirely curable and symptoms may return at random intervals. Therefore, you may need ongoing treatment to control and possibly reverse your hair loss.

What are the symptoms of alopecia barbae?

Alopecia barbae is an unpredictable condition that can lead to beard hair loss at random times and rhythms. This can complicate your diagnosis. However, these common symptoms usually indicate that you may have this disorder.

  • Bald patches occur on the beard in small circular patches the diameter of a coin (Ganapathi, R., 2016). These patches may begin to overlap as hair is lost.
  • White hairs can sometimes develop around the edges of these patches.
  • Your skin may also feel itchy and sore before hair is lost to the area.
  • The skin on the patches usually appears smooth, but may feel rough to the touch.
  • You may experience redness, irritation and inflammation of the skin in the bald areas.
  • Hairs that are narrower at the bottom can grow around the bald spot.

example of alopecia barbae
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If you feel these symptoms of Alopecia Barbae, you should consult a dermatologist for a professional diagnosis and prescribed treatment. You can also apply other home remedies for alopecia barbae to support and speed up recovery, as we will see later in this blog.

What causes alopecia barbae?

Our immune system is an advanced biological defense system, but sometimes it can make mistakes and attack the wrong cells! Alopecia barbae is one of those conditions where your own immune system attacks your beard hair follicles. This attack damages the follicles, stopping hair growth in the region.

The question is, why does the immune system make such a mistake and can it be avoided? While the exact reasons behind alopecia barbae are unknown, psychological and physical stress are often linked to all forms of hair loss (Pratt et al., 2017).

Genetics and other autoimmune conditions may also play a role in causing alopecia barbae. Therefore, it is more common in those related to someone who has alopecia, asthma, allergies, type 1 diabetes, lupus, and psoriasis (Cronkleton, 2018b). Other causes of alopecia barbae can include certain infections and medication side effects.

How is alopecia barbae diagnosed?

A dermatologist professionally diagnoses Alopecia Barbae by observing your hair loss, gently pulling your hair, examining your nails, and studying your hair samples under a microscope (Cronkleton, 2018b). A scalp biopsy or blood test may also be prescribed to check for underlying microbial or fungal infections and related medical conditions, such as autoimmune disorders and thyroid disorders.

Human hair under a microscope
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If Alopecia Barbae is detected, your doctor may immediately prescribe steroid creams, tablets or injections to help contain the symptoms. This will be followed by exploring further treatments for Alopecia Barbae if necessary. We will now cover various medicinal, cosmetic, and therapeutic options.

treatment options

Alopecia barbae does not yet have a permanent solution. However, it can be controlled with prescription Alopecia Barbae treatments that reduce your autoimmune system’s attack on your beard hair.

Alopecia Barbae Treatments
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While Alopecia Barbae treatments may help partially or fully regrow your hair, the chances of random recurrence remain. Therefore, ongoing efforts to manage the condition may be required. Here are some of the commonly used treatments and medications for alopecia barbae that your dermatologist may prescribe based on your symptoms and underlying causes:

corticosteroids

medical corticosteroid pills in a prescription drug bottle
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These are anti-inflammatory drugs that suppress the immune system. They are administered as injections, oral medications or creams to control the immune system attack and the hair loss that it causes (Pratt et al., 2017).

minoxidil

This topical medication is primarily used to treat natural pattern baldness in men and can stimulate hair growth in people with alopecia barbae. It is applied to the affected area twice a day as a liquid or foam. And its results can be seen after a few months.

hair transplant

Transplanting hair from the scalp to the beard is another possible option that involves minor and painless hair replacement surgery. Transplantation is used as a quick fix if you have some money to spare or other Alopecia Barbae treatments fail.

diphencyprone

This medication is physically applied to the bald areas of the beard. It works by inducing a reaction in the skin that stimulates the growth and repair of hair follicles (Cronkleton, 2018). Your results may take three months to manifest.

PRP therapy

a man receiving an injection
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Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP injections are another treatment for alopecia barbae in which activated platelets from the patient’s blood are isolated and injected into bald areas to stimulate hair growth (Everts et al., 2020). . While results may be visible in about six weeks, it can take up to a year for full regrowth.

anthralin

This medication is applied as an ointment to slow the growth of skin cells, preventing hair loss caused by rapid skin loss due to a false immune response (Cronkleton, 2018). You can show visible results within 8 to 12 weeks.

Tattoo and cosmetic arrangement

Permanent tattoos can help camouflage areas where your hair is thinning. It could be a feasible cosmetic option if the loss is light and easy to camouflage. Similarly, you can follow some effective grooming solutions to camouflage moderate hair loss for patchy beard hair.

Remember that all treatment has risks, and you should consult your dermatologist to understand what you are getting into. Also, you should stop treatment and contact a qualified physician immediately if you experience any unexpected or severe side effects from any medication or treatment.

The best home remedies for Alopecia Beard

You can apply various home remedies, Alopecia Barbae, to support your medicinal, therapeutic or cosmetic treatments. Here are some simple remedies to treat Alopecia Barbae at home.

Garlic

onions
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The natural healing properties of garlic can help improve symptoms of alopecia barbae when applied with corticosteroids (Hajheydari et al., 2007). This widely available food can be easily applied in small amounts as a gel to bald areas to help with follicle repair and hair growth at low cost.

hair growth supplements

hair growth supplements
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You can opt for chair growth supplements that contain a special blend of nourishing ingredients designed to support normal hair growth. Most hair growth formulations include zinc, biotin, vitamin C, horsetail, acerola, and iron (Cronkleton, 2018). Some popular supplements, such as Viviscal, also include the marine AminoMar C complex, which has been shown to stimulate hair growth and reverse hair loss (Ablon, 2016).

Viviscal Hair Growth Supplement
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Healthy life style

Man meditating on a rock
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You should manage your stress levels by taking exercise and meditation. In addition, you should opt for a balanced and nutrient-rich diet. These measures will help reduce stress and improve general health, reducing hair loss. If the hair loss problem itself is causing stress, you should talk to a relevant therapist to avoid a negative spiral.

other remedies

Home remedies for alopecia barbae include some other components that are widely used but not necessarily proven to be effective. Here are some naturally occurring substances that you can try as alopecia barbae treatments after consulting your dermatologist.

  • probiotics
  • wheat grass
  • Coconut, castor, or almond oil
  • Essential oils with lavender, rosemary and geranium
  • aloe vera extracts
  • Fish oil

summarizing

Alopecia Beard it can affect your appearance and psychological well-being, potentially irritating your face. It is also likely to get worse over the years if left untreated.

Therefore, you should not ignore the symptoms of this condition!

See a dermatologist immediately if you feel you have the symptoms discussed and follow the recommended treatment for Alopecia Barbae. Also, remember to support the medications or therapies with the mentioned home remedies for Alopecia Barbae after consulting with your doctor. The key to quick and long-lasting results is timely medical treatment along with the best home remedies.

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