If you begin losing patches of your hair unexpectedly, it may be alopecia areata. To make sure, you need to go to a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis. However, how exactly is alopecia areata successfully diagnosed? Read on to learn how a doctor diagnoses a case of alopecia areata.
It Starts With Hair Loss
If you are randomly losing patches of hair, it is time to visit a doctor. Once there, your doctor will look at all of your symptoms and try to make a determination as to whether or not you have alopecia areata.
Observing Your Hair Under a Microscope
In some cases, diagnosis can be quite simple. Your doctor can often just take a sample of your hair and observe it under a microscope. After close examination of both the hair under a microscope and your patches of hair loss, the doctor may be able to diagnose you with alopecia areata.
A Scalp Biopsy May Be Necessary
If your doctor is still unsure of the cause of your hair loss, a scalp biopsy may be needed. A scalp biopsy will take a small sample of the skin on your scalp and analyze it, searching for another cause of the hair loss, such as a fungal infection. If they are able to rule out other possible causes, they will likely diagnose you with alopecia areata.
Blood Tests to Rule Out Other Autoimmune Diseases
If your doctor suspects that you have a different autoimmune disease, your doctor may order some blood tests to rule them out. The blood tests your doctor orders depends on the autoimmune disease that they suspect you may have but, in most cases, your doctor will test for a few abnormal antibodies. If these antibodies are discovered in your blood, it will signal that you likely have an autoimmune disease.
Other Blood Tests to Rule Out Other Conditions
Your doctor may also order additional blood tests to rule out other diseases and conditions. This can vary based on the doctor’s preferences, but some common tests include testing thyroid hormones, iron levels, and C-reactive proteins.
Once Diagnosed, It Is Time to Start Alopecia Areata Treatment
Once you have a diagnosis, it is time to start getting treatment for alopecia areata. The sooner you get treatment, the better a medical professional can help you fight the disease. There are a variety of treatment options available, so make sure to consult with your doctor to find the treatment that will work best for you.
Treatment Trials for Alopecia Areata in San Diego
If you live in San Diego and are diagnosed with alopecia areata, there is treatment available at California Dermatology and Clinical Research Institute. We are currently running a clinical research trial to find a better treatment method for those with alopecia areata, providing participants with incredible treatment free of cost. If you are interested in learning more or joining a research study, contact California Dermatology and Clinical Research Institute today. Give us a call at (760) 203-3839.