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Alopecia areata and its impact on young people

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Alopecia is defined as a partial or complete absence of hair from areas of the body where it normally grows. There are a variety of causes, which ultimately lead to hair loss, either with or without scarring at the level of the hair follicle. In the first part of this two-part article, Dr Kapil Bhargava and Dr David Fenton focus on alopecia areata (AA), which is one common non-scarring alopecia that frequently affects young people, having a lifetime risk of approximately 1.7% (Safavi et al, 1995). As many as 60% present with their first patch before the age of 20 years, and only 20% of patients are older than 40 years (Safavi et al, 1995; Lu et al, 2006). While most patients are physically asymptomatic, hair loss may result in significant emotional and psychosocial distress. This is further explored in part 2 of the article, where Jennifer Chambers and Jackie Tomlinson discuss the young person's experience of the condition.
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Keywords: ALOPECIA AREATA (AA); AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE; HAIR LOSS; PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT; PYSCHODERMATOLOGY; TEENAGERS; YOUNG PEOPLE

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: March 1, 2015

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  • Dermatological Nursing is the quarterly, peer-reviewed journal of the British Dermatological Nursing Group (BDNG) and the UK's only quality dermatological nursing journal. It aims to provide cutting-edge articles on the treatment and management of dermatological conditions and the care of patients with skin problems. While the focus is on dermatological nursing, the information included is relevant to other healthcare professionals.
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