alopecia barbae

Hair loss is most commonly associated with the hair on the scalp. However, did you know you can lose it from other areas of the body too?

After Louis Theroux recently revealed he was suffering with alopecia barbae, the condition is quickly becoming more recognised. A type of hair loss that affects the beard in men, alopecia barbae isn’t as uncommon as you may think.

Here, we look at what alopecia barbae is, its signs and symptoms, and the treatment options available.

What is alopecia barbae?

Alopecia barbae is a type of hair loss that specifically affects the beard area in men. It is a form of alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that causes hair loss on the scalp and other areas of the body.

With alopecia barbae, the hair follicles in the beard area become inflamed and stop producing hair, resulting in patchy hair loss. The exact cause is unknown, but it is thought to be related to genetic and environmental factors.

In some cases, the hair may regrow on its own, while in others, hair loss may be permanent.

What are the signs and symptoms of alopecia barbae?

Alopecia barbae can sometimes be mistaken for other types of beard hair loss, such as a fungal infection or other medical conditions. While the signs and symptoms may vary between patients, here’s some of the most common to look out for…

  • Patchy hair loss in the beard area: This is the most common and noticeable symptom of alopecia barbae. The hair loss may be sudden and affect a small area, or it may be gradual and involve larger areas of the beard.
  • Short or broken hair: Remaining hair in the affected area may be shorter and weaker than normal.
  • Itching or burning in the beard area: Some people with alopecia barbae may experience itching or burning in the affected area.
  • No redness or scaling: Unlike some other forms of hair loss, alopecia barbae does not typically cause redness or scaling.

How is alopecia barbae treated?

The treatment of alopecia barbae typically depends on the severity and extent of hair loss. Some of the main treatments available include:

  • Topical steroids applied to the affected area to help reduce inflammation and promote hair growth
  • Steroids injected directly into the affected area can also help promote new growth and reduce inflammation
  • Topical minoxidil can be applied to the affected area to help stimulate hair growth

It’s important to note that not all treatments work for everyone, and the best course of treatment will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. If you are concerned that you may be suffering with alopecia barbae, book a consultation with a dermatologist that specialises in treating all types of hair loss to see which treatment approach would be most effective.