Frequently Asked Questions about Alopecia Areata

Is Alopecia Areata contagious?

No – Alopecia Areata is never contagious

Can the disease have psychological causes?

Although there are studies suggesting a link between stress and Alopecia Areata, the theory that Alopecia Areata is triggered by stress is speculative and very controversial. Certainly, it is not a bad idea for people with Alopecia Areata to try to control their stress levels more effectively. Proper stress management can help to stabilize the patient emotionally.

Is Alopecia Areata inheritable?

There are certain indications that it may be hereditary. In 20% of Alopecia Areata patients, at least one other person in the family is also affected. It has also been noted that members of the same family tend to have a higher rate of immune system disorders.

Can this hair loss be prevented?

No. When and whether someone can become affected by Alopecia Areata is unpredictable. Therefore, one cannot take any precautions.

How do I organize my life with hair loss?

Alopecia Areata patients generally enjoy good physical health. However, hair loss always presents an emotional challenge. The hair loss is often followed by psychological problems, which can become bigger as hair loss continues. To cope with the mental pain induced by hair loss, patients should mobilize their internal forces, find out more information about the illness and get the support of others. There are many people who are self-confident and happy with this disease. In some cases, however, psychological help is required to achieve the necessary level of self-esteem.

What psychological consequences can Alopecia Areata have?

Patients’ reactions caused by Alopecia Areata may include:

  • Fear that others might find out they are affected by this disease
  • Fear that others might find out you are wearing a wig
  • Uncertainty » Loss of self-esteem
  • Grief and depression
  • Feelings of shame
  • Guilt feelings of having provoked the disease
  • Feelings of guilt towards family members
  • Withdrawal and isolation
  • Frantic search for treatment options

Depending on the social situation and the patient’s own feelings about the disease, as well as through their parents’ support, psychotherapeutic care (e.g., game therapy) can be a valuable supporting measure for helping patients cope with the situation. However, the main task in the helping people come to terms with Alopecia Areata is the counseling for parents and the psychosocial support for parents and affected children. In addition to psychotherapists and other specialists trained in this field, self-help groups such as Alopecia Areata Switzerland Association are of great importance, as affected persons and their parents can exchange information and help each other.

What can you do to live a good life with Alopecia Areata?

Alopecia Areata patients and their relatives are confronted with a completely new life situation, which is confusing, frightening and unpredictable. Most affected people have never had a disease like Alopecia Areata and are therefore completely unprepared. The following list is designed to help you live better and more easily with Alopecia Areata:

  • Collect information about Alopecia Areata.
  • Collect information on treatment options.
  • Discuss with your doctor, your family and friends, whether therapy is needed, and if yes, then which therapy is suitable for you or your child.
  • Establish some common ground. How can my child and I interact better
  • Get contact details of other affected persons through our website.
  • Have confidence and trust in yourself and your child.
  • Be attentive to your child’s worries, needs and desires.
  • Allow yourself and your child express your feelings without breaking into self-pity.
  • Trust your child and let him try it, find his own way.
  • Collect information about wigs and other cosmetic aids.
  • Try to maintain your psychological balance by learning about strategies to cope with stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Intensify relationships with relatives and friends who are good to you and who are willing to talk about your problems.
  • Focus on positive aspects of your life as often as you can.
  • Learn to accept yourself, because then you can also expect to be accepted by your environment.

Why are self-help groups important to you?

Alopecia Areata self-help group can help patients learn to accept their illness and live with it. Here they can exchange experiences, relieve their pain and encourage each other. Everyone is working on solving their problems by sharing them with other people. People who suffer the same fate are often the best advisors, as they can provide definite practical tips, such as buying a wig, choosing the right doctor and solving everyday problems. In this way, you can achieve a new quality of life and be better informed about your illness and its treatment options.

Here you will find contact persons in your area »

When do you need support?

Many people feel Alopecia Areata as a trauma. The disease can also be a burden on parents, partners and other relatives of those affected. Try to find out how Alopecia Areata has affected and changed your life! If you have the impression that the disease has brought about drastic changes in your lifestyle, you have isolated yourself or your child, or are permanently suffering from negative feelings, then you should seek psychological help. In many cases, however, contact with a self-help group can be enough to get your life back on track.

How do you find professional psychological support?

A way to find professional psychological help can be a conversation with a doctor your trust. However, you can also contact a psychiatrist or neurologist who can recommend the addresses of psycho-therapists.