The symptoms of alopecia areata are fairly simple, but the extent and duration of the alopecia areata vary from person to person.
The alopecia areata comes in the form of round plates or alopecia (loss of hair) round or oval well limited, variable size. These plates are placed on a healthy scalp, neither red, scaly, itchy, nor inflamed, etc.
The most common symptom is the single plate a few centimeters in diameter. However, one can also observe extensive and multiple lesions, or even alopecia of the entire scalp (total alopecia areata).
More rarely, these areas without hair may be pinkish. There is no classification of additional symptoms, but it can be noted in some patients a slight itching, a burning sensation, or even pain, and when hair loss begins.
Alopecia areata can rarely be diffuse. In this case, it is more difficult to diagnose.
A very evocative clinical aspect of the diagnosis is the visualization of hair "in exclamation points", that is to say, broken hair with a thinned base. We can also note, during regrowth, white hair or less pigmented than unaffected hair.
The special case of the child
In children, the two main differential diagnoses (different from alopecia areata) that the doctor will think of are ringworm and trichotillomania. The clinical symptoms are however different most often:
- in ringworm, plaques usually include short broken hair and scales;
- in the trichotillomania, the plates are poorly limited, there is no real alopecia and the hair is of different length.
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