Alopecia, the medical term for hair loss, is known in at least 50% of the adult population. Some men, for unknown reasons, however, lose hair in a different spot than the scalp, especially on the beard area. This non-contagious condition occurs independently of other forms of hair loss. With the disease, round, peach and smooth spots appear on the beard, sometimes accompanied by additional symptoms. A healing drug does not exist for the loss of hair to the beard region, but some drugs and other treatments stimulate hair growth. The outlook is variable, but in most patients the symptoms flare back on a regular basis.
Epidemiology of hair disorder in men
Most men who show signs of the condition are between 28 and 42 years old.
Causes of alopecia barbae
Hair loss (alopecia) has two main types: androgenic alopecia and alopecia areata (hair loss with round, bald spots). Alopecia barbae is a form of alopecia areata and affects the hair follicles in the beard region. Alopacia barbae is probably an autoimmune disease that affects the hair follicles and damages them, leading to hair loss. However, it is not clear why the immune system attacks the hair follicles. Alopecia barbae also occurs independently of other forms of alopecia. Men with healthy hair may experience alopecia barbae and vice versa.
Risk factors of hair loss to beard region
Some patients with alopecia barbae have a family history of the condition. As a result, doctors suspect that a hereditary component is involved in the development of the disorder. In some men, stress , anxiety and depression also contribute to accelerating hair loss. Other environmental abnormalities also accelerate hair loss such as chemicals, extreme physical stress, hormonal changes , allergic reactions and the presence of other autoimmune diseases.
Symptoms: Bald spots in beard
The symptoms of alopecia barbae are clear. The patient has small, round, bare, smooth, shiny and soft spots on the beard region (chin, cheeks and jaw line). Usually the patient has no itching, but sometimes men with alopecia areata or alopecia barbae experience a burning and tingling sensation on the beard area. The bald spots sometimes have a peach-like color. Untreated, the bald spots spread over the entire beard zone. In rare cases, the nails are affected and men experience thinner nails or nails that detach from the nail bed ( onycholysis ).
Diagnosis and research
Many men tend to ignore a small bare piece in the beard zone. They think that the hair will automatically grow back. This, however, worsens the hair loss. The baldness of the beard area is easy to observe on the naked eye.
Treatment of hair loss to beard area
The results are usually better when the treatment starts at an early stage. The treatment of alopecia barbae is difficult and always under the supervision of a doctor. However, no treatment for alopecia barbae (or alopecia areata) is effective. Usually the doctor uses treatment methods to stimulate hair growth.
Minoxidil is a liquid medicine that a man has to rub into the affected areas at least twice a day. Only 5% of the amount is an effective medication. The medicine stimulates hair growth and prevents further hair loss. However, the drug sometimes causes irritation.
Anthralin is another effective treatment for alopecia barbae. The medicine is available in the form of a cream or ointment that is synthetic and based on tar. New hair starts to grow when applying the cream; however, hair growth stops immediately after the patient stops applying the medication.