Hair loss is the most obvious side effect of alopecia areata, but there are other tell-tale signs of alopecia areata that aren’t as noticeable. Today, we’re going to dive into those lesser known side effects and talk about how they’re connected to alopecia areata.
1. Damage to the Nails
An often overlooked effect of alopecia areata is damage to the finger nails. In many cases, small dents in rows on the top of the nail occur. These are called stippling. In other cases, the nails can become completely distorted, broken, brittle, rough, and have white spots. Also, the skin around the nails can become dry. Nail damage happens to about 20% or 1 in 5 cases of diagnosed alopecia areata.
2. Slightly Changed Hair Color
In other cases, hair can grow back after a few months. Often times it comes back temporarily in a different color – usually white or gray – before returning to its natural color after a few months.
3. Sensitive Skin
Because one of the functions of hair is to cover and protect the skin, alopecia can make your skin more susceptible to sunburn, as well as dry skin. It’s important to pay closer attention to your skin to keep it healthy and moisturized if you’re experiencing hair loss from alopecia. Also, sometimes yellow skin depositions can occur at the openings of the skin follicles.
For more information on alopecia areata, its symptoms, and how to take care of your skin after being diagnosed, check out the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. They have a number of resources, personal stories, and events that are geared towards bringing more awareness to alopecia and helping those people and families who deal with alopecia on a daily basis.