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The ‘hair-raising' benefits of homeopathy

Alopecia areata, or loss of hair in patches, is the most common type of hair loss. It can affect any hair-bearing area of the body, albeit the term often connotes patchy hair loss from the scalp. Among hair disorders, none arouses as much interest as alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder a condition in which the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks our bodys own cells, in this case, hair follicles, and destroys them.

Alopecia areata affects people of all ages. It can involve any part of the body. In certain cases, it can extend to the eyebrows, eyelashes, and facial hair (beard; moustache). It can progress rapidly, leading to complete loss of scalp hair in a span as short as 15 days, or limiting itself to persistent patches throughout life. It can sometimes progress to total loss of hair on the scalp (alopecia areata totalis), or complete loss of hair all over the body (alopecia areata universalis).

Evaluating alopecia areata is probably one of the easiest things for a doctor to do, since the patches are so characteristic. Yet, it is also the most difficult condition to treat. To confirm diagnosis, your homeopath, specialised in trichology (science of scalp and hair), may recommend certain blood tests to rule out underlying problems like anaemia, diabetes and thyroid disorders. In addition, a folliscopic (PC-based video microscopy) test a painless, non-invasive procedure that magnifies the view of hair follicles and the scalp up to 200 times is performed. In rare instances, a hair biopsy is recommended.

Homeopathy does not merely treat hair loss on the surface or on the basis of external symptoms. It endeavours to treat the 'root cause' of the problem, taking into account the individuals unique nature, their distinctive characteristics, temperament and idiosyncrasies. Fluoric Acid is used as it has symptoms which characteristically match the symptoms of alopecia areata (i.e., hair loss in patches). In many cases of alopecia areata, there is often an underlying emotional cause. This is taken into consideration while prescribing a homeopathic remedy. For instance, Ignatia Amara is used when there is sudden hair loss in patches a result of sudden stress, grief or emotional turmoil.

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 Times of India on 1 August 2010