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Don't hide hair loss. Seek solutions.

Commonly called 'bald spots', patchy hair loss is an unusual condition that affects both men and women at any age. Those afflicted, quite literally try and cover up the condition by wearing a cap or by artfully combing hair over the patches. It is wiser to understand and treat hair loss than to try and conceal it.

The most common cause of patchy hair loss is Alopecia Areata (AA), which manifests as hair loss in small, round patches. Some people with AA (about 5%) may lose all scalp hair (Alopecia Totalis) or even all scalp and body hair (Alopecia Universalis).

AA tends to affect younger individuals, both male and female. It is an auto-immune disorder where the immune system attacks hair follicles.

AA victims and their families may be at greater risk for atopic eczema, asthma and nasal allergies, as well as other auto-immune afflictions like thyroid diseases and vitiligo.

An international study shows that 76.9% patients trace the onset of their condition to stress. As a mind and body medicine, homeopathy is ideally suited to treat stress, thereby controlling hair loss. Since it strengthens the immune system, it also combats auto-immune diseases. Not surprisingly, research reveals that 90% patients with AA turn to medical alternatives like homeopathy.

An anxious mother brought 12-year-old Rahul to us when he developed bald patches on his scalp. His classmates would ridicule him for wearing a cap to hide his condition. As he lost confidence, Rahul also lost his top ranking in class. Just a few doses of Silicea helped the child recover his hair and class position.

Article by Dr Mukesh Batra
L.C.E.H., F.H.M.A. (U.K.), F.R.S.H. (Med) P.(Lon), M.D.H. (U.S.A.), F.B.I.H.(U.K.)
Published in Hindustan Times on 24 January 2009