Alopecia areata is not medically disabling; persons with alopecia areata are usually in excellent health. But emotionally, this disease can be challenging, especially for those with extensive hair loss.
GMA Network: Thousands of netizens gushed over the beauty and drive of a student with alopecia who is set to graduate from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) this month of May.
Marketing major Patricia Apuli Banzuela, who conquered years and years of bullying because of her appearance, used her now-viral graduation photo as an opportunity to send a special message to people going through a hard time in school for being different.
lifestyle.inquirer.net: Despite suffering from suspected alopecia disease, a student from Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Manila is set to graduate from college this May with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Marketing Management.
Baring her complete hair loss, which she bore since birth, 24-year-old Patricia Banzuela proudly posted on Facebook her graduation photos.
She is set to receive her diploma in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Marketing Management.
“Be inspired. Ang kapansanan ay hindi hadlang para ‘di makapagtapos ng pag-aaral,” she wrote with the hashtag #NaBullyNagAyosNagAralNakaPagTapos.
She added she is also a volunteer student at the university’s Scholarship and Financial Assistance Services office and a recipient of the Commission on Higher Education’s scholarship program.
In a brief interview with INQUIRER.net, Banzuela said she is a “woman of strength” in spite of having been bullied in school because of her condition.
“Napaka-jolly ko po and strong woman kapag ako ay nakikita niyo po parang walang sakit. Physical lang parang may sakit but mentally, I am normal,” she said.
“Ito iyong naging inspirasyon ko para makapagtapos ng pag-aaral. My situation ay hindi hadlang para ‘di ko maabot mga pangarap ko sa buhay,” she concluded. /jpv
GMA Network:, who flaunted her beauty with and without her wig in her stunning college graduation photos, also thanked her family and friends whose support helped her reach the milestone.
Image credit: Patricia Apuli Banzuela
SOME OF PATRICIA’S QUOTES:
Nothing is more impressive than a person who is secure in the unique way of God made Her. #BeautifulInsideAndOut #iampatH_16
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 Thank you Lord! -Well done, good and faithful servant! #mylifeverse #7daystogopicc#degreeholder
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years. ⚕️ -Audrey Hepburn #mycreativegradpic#gragraduateontime50819 #relansphotography
IMAGE CREDIT: www.naaf.org
www.naaf.org: WHAT IS ALOPECIA AREATA?
Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disease that results in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere. It usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth patches. It occurs in males and females of all ages and races, but onset most often occurs in childhood. Approximately 6.8 million people in the United States and 147 million worldwide have or will develop alopecia areata at some point in their lives. In alopecia areata, the affected hair follicles are mistakenly attacked in groups by a person’s own immune system (white blood cells), resulting in the arrest of the hair growth stage. These affected follicles become very small, drastically slow down production, and grow no hair visible above the surface for months or years. The scalp is the most commonly affected area, but the beard or any hair-bearing site can be affected alone or together with the scalp. Some people develop only a few bare patches that regrow hair within a year. In others, extensive patchy loss occurs, and in a few, all scalp hair is lost (referred to as alopecia totalis) or, hair is lost from the entire scalp and body (referred to as alopecia universalis). No matter how widespread the hair loss, the hair follicles remain alive and are ready to resume normal hair production whenever they receive the appropriate signal. In all cases, hair regrowth may occur even without treatment and even after many years.
” People of all ages and both sexes can develop alopecia areata, but it usually first appears during childhood and can be different for everyone who has it.” SOURCE: futureofpersonalhealth.com
HOW WILL ALOPECIA AREATA AFFECT THE DAILY LIFE?
Alopecia areata is not medically disabling; persons with alopecia areata are usually in excellent health. But emotionally, this disease can be challenging, especially for those with extensive hair loss. One of the purposes of the National Alopecia Areata Foundation is to reach out to individuals and families with alopecia areata and help them live full, productive lives. There are thousands of successful, well-adjusted, contented people living with this disease. The emotional pain of alopecia areata can be overcome with one’s own inner resources, sound medical facts, and the support of others. Sometimes professional counseling from a psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker is needed to develop one’s self-confidence and positive self-image.
IMAGE CREDIT: naaf.org
WHAT IS THE SIGNAL THAT TRIGGERS THE DISEASE TO START OR STOP?
Current research suggests that something triggers the immune system to suppress the hair follicle. It isn’t known what this trigger is, and whether it comes from outside the body like a virus, or from inside. Recent research indicates that some persons have genetic markers that increase both their susceptibility to develop alopecia areata, as well as the degree of disease severity.
IMAGE CREDIT: National Alopecia Areata Foundation
IS ALOPECIA AREATA HEREDITARY?
Yes, heredity plays a role. Alopecia areata is a ‘polygenic disease’ which requires the contribution of many genes to be inherited from both parents to bring about the disease, as well as a contribution from the environment. However, most children with alopecia areata do not have a parent with the disease, and the vast majority of parents with alopecia areata do not pass it along to their children. There is no way to accurately calculate the risk of passing it on to your children because alopecia areata is a complex disease, with contributions to risk from several genes. Scientists believe that there may be a number of genes that predispose certain people to the disease. It is highly unlikely that a child would inherit all of the genes needed to predispose him or her to the disease.
Even with the right (or wrong) combination of genes, developing alopecia areata is still not a certainty. In identical twins, who share all of the same genes, the concordance rate is only 55 percent. In other words, if one twin has the disease, there is only a 55-percent chance that the other twin will have it as well. This shows that other environmental factors besides genetics are required to trigger the disease. That’s why one twin develops alopecia areata and the other twin does not. The exact environmental factors that contribute to alopecia areata are still being worked out.
IMAGE CREDIT: www.naaf.org
WHAT OTHER PARTS OF THE BODY ARE AFFECTED?
In some people, the nails develop stippling that looks as if a pin had made rows of tiny dents. In a few, the nails are severely distorted. However, other than the hair and occasionally the nails, no other part of the body is affected.
DOES THE HAIR EVER GROW BACK?
Yes, the hair definitely can grow even after years of extensive hair loss. It can also fall out again.
“I AM NOT MY HAIR”, KALIKA BLAKE SOURCE: 7thandLotus
IS ALOPECIA AREATA DUE TO NERVES?
No, it is not a nervous disorder. Those who have alopecia areata have not caused in and have no control over its course.
IS THERE A CURE FOR ALOPECIA AREATA?
At present, there is no cure for alopecia areata, although the hair may return by itself. There are various treatments, which are most effective in milder cases, but none are universally effective.
IMAGE CREDIT: Twitter
ARE TREATMENT AVAILABLE?
There are several available treatments; choice of treatment depends mainly on a person’s age and the extent of their hair loss.
Alopecia areata occurs in two forms: a mild patchy form where less than 50 percent of scalp hair is lost, and an extensive form where greater than 50 percent of scalp hair is lost. These two forms of alopecia areata behave quite differently, and the choice of treatment depends on which form is present.
Current treatments do not turn alopecia areata off; they stimulate the follicle to produce hair again, and treatments need to be continued until the disease turns itself off. Treatments are most effective in milder cases.
IMAGE CREDIT: twitter.com
WHAT TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR EXTENSIVE ALOPECIA AREATA WHERE GREATER THAN 50%HAIR IS LOST?
Cortisone injections. The most common treatment is the injection of cortisone into the bare skin patches. The injections are usually given by a dermatologist who uses a tiny needle to give multiple injections into the skin in and around the bare patches. The injections are repeated once a month. Both the needle prick and the slight tingling are usually well tolerated and there is no discomfort after leaving the doctor’s office. If new hair growth occurs, it is usually visible within four weeks. Treatment, however, does not prevent new patches from developing. There are few side effects from local cortisone injections. Occasionally, temporary depressions in the skin result from the local injections, but these “dells” usually fill in by themselves.
Topical minoxidil. Five percent topical minoxidil solution applied twice daily may grow hair in alopecia areata. Scalp, eyebrows, and beard hair may respond. If scalp hair regrows completely, treatment can be stopped. Two percent topical minoxidil solution alone is not effective in alopecia areata; response may improve if cortisone cream is applied 30 minutes after the minoxidil. Topical minoxidil is safe, easy to use, and does not lower blood pressure in persons with normal blood pressure. Neither 2 percent nor 5 percent topical minoxidil solution is effective in treating those with 100 percent scalp hair loss.
Anthralin cream or ointment. Another treatment is the application of anthralin cream or ointment. Anthralin is a synthetic, tar-like substance that has been used widely for psoriasis. Anthralin is applied to the bare patches once daily and washed off after a short time, usually 30 to 60 minutes later. If new hair growth occurs, it is seen in eight to twelve weeks. Anthralin can be irritating to the skin and can cause temporary, brownish discoloration of the treated skin. By using short treatment times, skin irritation and skin staining are reduced without decreasing effectiveness. Care must be taken not to get anthralin in the eyes. Hands must be washed after applying.
IMAGE CREDIT: Pinterest