Does Alopecia Areata typically progress rapidly?


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I have had a small bald patch near my hairline that I first noticed about two years ago. I noticed it after going through a stressful time which made me think I might have alopecia triggered by stress. However, the patch never fluctuated in size, it hasnt grown hair back at all but I dont think it has gotten bigger either. My primary care doctor did a pull test and it came back negative he said the skin there looked healthy. It just stresses me out because I know its there. If it was alopecia areata would the spot most likely have gotten bigger or changed in size in any way? I was a premature baby and I know they had to put a catheter in my scalp but I doubt that would cause a bald spot. Please help?


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Yes, Alopecia Areata (AA) hair loss can often occur and progress rapidly.

Rapid Onset:
  • A hallmark characteristic of Alopecia Areata is the sudden appearance of bald patches on the scalp.
  • This hair loss can happen quite quickly, sometimes over a relatively short period (days or weeks).
Variable Progression:
  • While the initial hair loss often occurs rapidly, the progression of AA can vary:
    • Limited Alopecia Areata: In some cases, the hair loss might be limited to a few small patches, and it may not spread further.
    • Alopecia Totalis: This refers to complete hair loss on the scalp.
    • Alopecia Universalis: This is the most severe form, involving hair loss on the entire body, including scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, and other areas.
Unpredictable Course:
  • The overall course of AA is unpredictable. Hair may regrow spontaneously in some cases, even without treatment.
  • However, there's always a chance of recurrence, and hair loss might progress to a more severe form in some individuals.