Your dermatologist will examine the area(s) with hair loss carefully and look at your nails. Your dermatologist will also ask some questions. This may be enough to diagnose you. Because there are so many reasons for hair loss, testing is sometimes necessary to make sure alopecia areata is the cause of your hair loss.
How do you get tested for alopecia?
A doctor may be able to diagnose alopecia areata simply by looking at the extent of your hair loss and by examining a few hair samples under a microscope. Your doctor may also perform a scalp biopsy to rule out other conditions that cause hair loss, including fungal infections like tinea capitis.
Can a dermatologist tell if you have alopecia?
Dermatologist examining a patient with hair loss
To get an accurate diagnosis, it helps to see a board-certified dermatologist. These doctors have in-depth knowledge about the many causes of hair loss and experience treating the diverse causes.
Do Dermatologists treat alopecia?
If you have a medical condition like alopecia areata, the dermatologist may prescribe medications or recommend an over-the-counter treatment. In-office procedures can also be effective for some patients. These treatments can include corticosteroid injections, laser therapy, and platelet-rich plasma therapy.
Can a blood test detect alopecia?
Alopecia areata is a disease that causes the hair to fall out in small patches. When the immune system attacks the hair follicles, the results are hair loss. Some blood tests used to test for alopecia is the ANA test, Anemia #1 Baseline Blood Test Panel, and the CRP.
What does the start of alopecia look like?
A common symptom includes small, round patches of hair loss on the scalp, beard area, or other “hairy” parts of the body. Those with alopecia may also notice hair loss and regrowth at the same time, but in different areas of the body. Hair may also only be missing from one side of the scalp and not the other.
Is alopecia an autoimmune condition?
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system mistakenly attacks a part of your body. When you have alopecia areata, cells in your immune system surround and attack your hair follicles (the part of your body that makes hair).
Does insurance cover alopecia treatment?
According to Mayo Clinic, if your hair loss is caused by a medical condition, the cost of some treatments might be covered by insurance but in most cases, insurance will not cover hair loss treatment because hair loss is not a medical condition itself.
Should I see a doctor for alopecia?
Unfortunately, alopecia is not curable, but can and should be treated by a dermatologist. During diagnosis, a skin biopsy may be performed and examined to properly diagnose the alopecia.