Alopecia Areata can be diagnosed through medical examinations, but one of the most effective ways to self-diagnose Alopecia Areata is to carefully examine your scalp thoroughly in conjunction with the hair pull test, as well as reviewing your recent history. It will be pretty obvious due to the fact that Alopecia Areata sufferers lose hair in patches. Do you notice small, smooth bald spots on your scalp that are roughly the size of a quarter or perhaps larger? Is there redness or swelling? In some cases the bare patch may be sensitive or painful. Does this describe your hair loss? If so then it may indicate that you have Alopecia Areata.
The hair pull test will also help you to determine if a majority of your hair follicles are in the telogen phase, rather than in the anagen (hair growth) phase. As a general rule, the more hairs in the telogen phase will indicate how advanced the onset is. An anagen hair will have a small sheath attached to the root, while a Telogen hair will have a tiny bulb but no sheath.
Here are the detailed step-by-step instructions to conduct a hair pull test in order to properly diagnose Alopecia Areata:
Step 1: Make sure that you wash your hair on a daily basis for at least 1 week prior to conducting the hair pull test. Irregular washing may result in an inaccurate diagnosis, as it may cause more hair follicles to remain on your scalp or more hair follicles to loosen when they are pulled.
Step 2: Using your thumb and middle finger, pinch a group of hairs anywhere on your scalp. You should grab around 30-40hairs per pinch. Once you have done this, give your hair a sharp pull. If you have bald spots, pull the strands at the periphery of the bare patch.
Step 3: Repeat the above step 15 times in various locations throughout your scalp.
Usually, in normal conditions, you will manage to pull out anywhere between 1 to 3 hairs with each pull. However, if you pull out more than 10 strands of hair during the pull test this indicates that you have Alopecia Areata.
Here are a few other ways to determine ifyou may have Alopecia Areata:
Have you experienced any traumatic events? Review your recent life events. Go over what has occurred within the last 6 months or so, and try to recall if there have been any possibly traumatic events that have taken place. Sudden or extreme stress, either physical or emotional, can have an impact upon your nervous system and trigger Alopecia Areata. This can hinder your body’s ability to regulate its immune response.
What does your scalp look like? The scalp of an AA sufferer will usually look completely normal. Aside from the bare patches or thinning hair, there will be no scarring. In some cases, however, there may be mild redness or irritation in the affected areas.
Other methods of diagnosing Alopecia Areata. In some cases a scalp biopsy may help to diagnose cases of Alopecia Areata. However, you should be able to diagnose Alopecia Areata based upon a simple hair pull test and a closer look at your scalp and past history. A scalp biopsy is typically just a way to confirm a diagnosis, rather than a valid diagnosis method.
The good news is that Alopecia Areata can also be reversed but its important to get to the root cause of the problem as opposed to treating the symptoms externally with drug based hair products. Keep in mind that reversing any type of damage in the body is a process, requiring a search into your whole body. What factors effecting one person’s Alopecia Areata may not effect another which is why some people recover quicker than others. Discovering these factors and triggers can make all the difference. You can follow Nature Crazy’s Top 6 Tips For Reversing Alopecia Areata Hair Loss in order to address the damage internally and externally.