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Alopecia Barba

Beard alopecia, or alopecia barbae, indicates a type of autoimmune disease that affects the beard. Specifically, people who suffer of this pathology have some empty areas on their face without hair.

The condition can be triggered in relation to different causes, like genetic factors or the base of other diseases.

The most effective treatments for this condition are the use of corticosteroids, minoxidil or topical medications.


What is beard alopecia

We usually think of alopecia as a lack of hair in a certain area of our head. However, not everyone knows that this condition can also involve  other parts of the body.

In  case of alopecia barbae, our face is affected

If you suffer from this condition you may notice more or less extensive areas of the face without hair.

The result does not involve physical damages but, definitely, can have psychological impacts.


What we know about beard alopecia

Beard alopecia is a particular type of alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that affects millions of people around the world every year. According to recent estimates, about 2% of the population suffers from it.

This condition is evidenced when the immune system fights against other cells in our body, instead of fighting external agents. Specifically, the parts of the body attacked by the immune system are the hair follicles, which are the basic structures of hair and hair.


The causes of alopecia barbae

The exact mechanism that leads to the autoimmune response of alopecia barbae is still not entirely clear. However, there are several causes and risk factors that can lead to alopecia barbae:


    • Genetics: You may be predisposed to develop this type of condition. Usually, this case  comes up between the ages of 30 and 40, although theoretically all age groups are affected.
    • Diseases autoimmune diseases: for example atrophic gastritis or vitiligo.
    • Syndromes: Down syndrome and Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome.

According to experts, in addition to these causes, environmental conditions, stress and physical-psychological trauma can affect too.


Treatments available

If we point out the alopecia barbae’s signs, a medical examination by a specialist is recommended.

Depending on the individual case, different treatments could be done.


One of the first ways to treat beard alopecia is through the use of corticosteroids. These are drugs with anti-inflammatory action who act at the level of the immune system.

Corticosteroids can be taken either orally through capsules or through topical application.


An alternative to corticosteroids is the use of minoxidil, an active ingredient with vasodilatory action. Although the drug in question is normally used to treat the androgenetic alopecia, according to several experts its use for alopecia areata helps to regenerate follicles and improve the overall health of the hair..


Antralin is another example of a topical medication that can be recommended as an alternative to corticosteroids. Its use helps regulate the skin growth process, and can therefore be useful in cases of beard alopecia.