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Alopecia Areata and Atopic Dermatitis: Diagnosis and Management

Are you prepared to help your patients with alopecia areata or atopic dermatitis? These autoimmune skin conditions result in psychological and social consequences that transcend their physical manifestations.

Alopecia Areata

While not a life-threatening disease, alopecia areata (AA) is a life-altering disease. It is a relapsing and remitting autoimmune condition that produces variable degrees of hair loss in genetically susceptible individuals. The disease is characterized by patchy, nonscarring, autoimmune-mediated hair loss that may vary significantly. AA often occurs along with other diseases including atopic dermatitis, asthma, allergic rhinitis, hypothyroidism, psoriasis, and anemia.

It can be very difficult not only for your patients, but for their families and caretakers as well. It can be psychologically challenging, as people with AA may be mistaken for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Children and teens with AA may be the subjects of bullying.

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is one of the most frequently diagnosed skin conditions worldwide. It can be both psychologically and socially challenging. AD is a common chronic or chronically recurring inflammatory skin condition, where over 90% of patients experienced daily pruritus, which can lead to sleep disturbance, fatigue, depression, anxiety, embarrassment, and decreased self-esteem.

AD is particularly common in infants and young children. In fact, it affects 10% to 15% of Canadian children under the age of 5. And while some children outgrow the condition by their second birthday, 40% live with AD throughout adulthood.

How much do you know about AA & AD?

How much do you know about these two conditions? 

Did you know:

  • Alopecia areata involves not only the loss of hair on the head, but sometimes hair loss all over the body as well.
  • There are seven different known types of alopecia areata.
  • There are four common types of atopic dermatitis.
  • About 10% to 20% of the population lives with atopic dermatitis in one form or another.

Watch Dr. Sam Hanna, a Toronto-based dermatologist, as he talks about the signs and symptoms, as well as available treatment options for your patients affected by AA & AD. 

Dr. Sam Hanna, Dermatologist

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