The following questions are ones that children with alopecia areata may have about their condition.
You may wish to print this page and talk through some of the questions and answers with your child, helping them to learn more about alopecia and hopefully remove any worries they may have.
What is alopecia?
Everyone loses a little hair every day. It's normal to have hair come out in your hair brush. But when you have alopecia, more hair falls out than usual and the hair becomes thin.
Bald patches sometimes appear where the hair has fallen out. Some children lose more hair than others, including some children who lose all their hair.
Boys and girls of all ages from all over the world can get alopecia.
Why did I get alopecia?
Inside our bodies is something called an 'immune system'. The job of the 'immune system' is to fight off nasty bugs and germs. In those of us with alopecia, our immune systems go a bit wrong and start to attack our hair follicles by mistake. We don't know why this happens.
Having alopecia is not your fault. It isn't something that you have done.
Will my alopecia go away?
It's hard to know what will happen when someone has alopecia.
Your hair might grow back soon, or in a while, or it might more grow back at all. Not knowing what will happen is one of the very tricky things about having alopecia. But remember, there are lots of boys and girls who are just the same as you. You are not alone in having alopecia.
Am I poorly?
The good news is that alopecia just makes your hair fall out. It doesn't give you a temperature or make you sick like having chicken pox or a tummy bug. You can carry on playing going to parties and having fun!
Can my friends catch my alopecia from me?
No, there is absolutely no way your friends can catch your alopecia from you. Alopecia is not contagious.
My big brother has alopecia; does that mean I'll get it too?
Most of the time, only one member of a family is affected and other brothers and sister don't get alopecia too.
How do I know if I have alopecia?
If you have any patches where you used to have hair or if your hair has become very thin, you may have alopecia.
Your parent/guardian should make an appointment to take you to the doctors who can give you more information.
Does alopecia hurt?
It does not usually hurt when hair falls out but sometimes there can be a bit of itchiness. This is quite common and nothing to worry about.