Alopecia areata is a very common cause of hair loss that causes the hair to fall out, resulting in smooth, round bald patches of hair loss.  It can occur in children or adults of any age.  The cause of alopecia areata is unknown. On rare occasions, it can result in complete loss of scalp and body hair.  Patients that develop the condition at a young age, have associated eczema, or more widespread involvement may have a poorer outcome. Most affected patients, though, are in good health and improve over time.  Treatment of Alopecia areata may include topical immunotherapy creams or steroids, tiny injections into the skin, topical immune sensitizers, light therapy, and in some cases pills.

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