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Health Tip: Understanding Alopecia Areata

(HealthDay News) -- Alopecia areata is a form of hair loss that's triggered by your immune system mistakenly viewing hair follicles as threats to your health.

This can trigger patchy hair loss on the head, complete hair loss on the head or the loss of body hair, the American Academy of Family Physicians says.

The condition -- for which there is no cure -- is most common among children and adults in their early 20s.

The AAFP says you should ask your doctor:

  • How much hair should I lose before you and I become concerned?

  • I have a parent who had the condition. Is there a genetic test that will determine if I will get it?

  • Do certain diseases or conditions raise a person's risk for developing alopecia areata?

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