As with other autoimmune diseases, alopecia areata is linked to an increased risk of acquiring other autoimmune diseases and, specifically lupus erythematosus.
There are several ideas as to what exactly causes alopecia areata. The factor involving an individual's gene appears to be an important consideration for those who suffer from alopecia areata usually have other family members who have been affected too.
Research suggests that the combination of certain genes make some people more prone to develop alopecia areata.
Alopecia areata, a disease of hair loss, is neither painful nor contagious. Although there is no specific reason for the initiation and development of alopecia areata, there are factors in one's environment that can trigger the onset of the disease. These factors may be biological or emotional. Some common causes and risk factors of alopecia areata are emotional stress, family history and genetic predisposition to the acquisition of alopecia areata, chemicals and chromosomal disorders such as Down's syndrome.
People who have thyroid diseases, asthma, allergies and other autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, vitiligo, and rheumatoid arthritis are also at risk of developing alopecia areata.
Some other causes for the development of alopecia are as follows:
- Diseases of the thyroid glands
- Medical side effects
- Birth control pills
- Inadequate protein
- Iron deficiency