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Study in Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings shows alopecia areata causes symptoms beyond hair loss and carries a considerable psychosocial burden

October 22nd, 2020

Beyond hair loss, alopecia areata has many additional symptoms and can cause long-term trauma, as evidenced by a study just published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings.

The publication reveals results from a survey to identify the burden of and life-changing experiences for patients living with moderate to severe alopecia areata. The survey, of 216 people with alopecia areata who have lived with the disease for a median of 13 years, was conducted by the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF), and the published results were authored by four leading academic medical experts in dermatology. Concert Pharmaceuticals provided funding to sponsor the research.

Key findings of the survey show that patients with alopecia areata suffer significantly increased burdens of this disease including a range of physical symptoms, significant psychosocial impact that did not abate over time, and more. Specific findings include:

  • Alopecia areata has a negative impact on many aspects of daily life, extending far beyond cosmetic.
  • Alopecia areata can negatively redirect the course of a patient’s life, culminating in unfulfilled professional and academic aspirations as well as diminished expectations for relationships and family life.
  • Patients reported a range of physical symptoms and complications associated with alopecia areata, including sensitivity to temperature and light, increased susceptibility to sunburn, nail splitting, dryness and irritation in eyes and nose, and inability to keep sweat and debris out of eyes.
  • Hair loss concealment techniques and treatments were considered unsatisfactory to patients and imposed a significant time and financial burden.

You can read the full results in the study here: https://www.jidsponline.org/article/S1087-0024(20)30017-4/fulltext

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