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What You Need To Know

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, leading to hair loss in small, round patches on the scalp or other areas of the body.

Hair loss in alopecia areata can be unpredictable, and regrowth may occur spontaneously without treatment. However, hair may also fall out and regrow repeatedly, leading to periods of relapse and remission.

Alopecia areata can have a significant emotional and psychological impact on individuals, affecting self-esteem, body image, and quality of life. It is important to provide support and seek appropriate psychological support if needed.


People with alopecia areata have an increased risk of developing other autoimmune disorders, such as vitiligo, thyroid disorders, and type 1 diabetes.


While there is no cure for alopecia areata, various treatment options may help stimulate hair regrowth and manage the condition.

These include topical corticosteroids, topical immunotherapy, minoxidil (hair growth stimulant), oral medications, and injections of corticosteroids or other medications directly into the affected areas.

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  • Patchy hair loss: These patches are usually smooth and may be completely devoid of hair or have some short, stubbly hairs remaining.

  • Bald patches on the scalp: The hair loss in alopecia areata typically occurs in discrete patches that can range in size from small coin-sized spots to larger areas. 

  • Hair loss on other body parts: This can include eyebrows, eyelashes, beard, mustache, or body hair. 

  • Regrowth and relapse: Hair regrowth in alopecia areata can be unpredictable. In some cases, hair may spontaneously start growing back within a few months, even without treatment. 

  • Nail changes: This can include pitting (small depressions or dents), ridges, or white spots on the nails.



A Functional Medicine Approach to Alopecia Areata

Our approach to alopecia areata focuses on identifying and addressing the underlying factors that contribute to the condition. While individualised treatment is essential in functional medicine, here are some principles that may be considered

  • BALANCING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM: We aim to support and modulate the immune system. This may involve identifying and addressing triggers that activate the immune response, such as chronic infections, environmental toxins, or food sensitivities.

  • DETOXIFICATION SUPPORT: We understand the potential impact of environmental toxins on overall health and immune function. Supporting the body's natural detoxification processes may be considered, with recommendations for reducing exposure to toxins and supporting liver function.

  • NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT:  We focus on a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet to support overall health and immune function. 

  • GUT HEALTH SUPPORT: We understand the gut-skin connection and the potential role of gut health in autoimmune conditions like aloepcia areata. They may assess and address gut issues such as dysbiosis, leaky gut, or food sensitivities that could be contributing to inflammation and immune dysregulation.


  • IDENTIFYING AND ADDRESSING TRIGGERS: We may explore other potential triggers or sensitivities that could be exacerbating symptoms or impacting gut health. This may involve investigating food intolerances, assessing for other autoimmune conditions, and identifying environmental factors that could contribute to inflammation or immune dysregulation.

  • STRESS MANAGEMENT: Chronic stress can contribute to immune dysfunction and exacerbate autoimmune conditions. We may include stress management techniques such as mindfulness practices, relaxation exercises, or counseling to support emotional well-being and reduce stress.

  • LIFESTYLE MODIFICATIONS: We may explore lifestyle factors that could influence the development or progression of alopecia areata. This can include optimising sleep, regular exercise, and addressing other underlying imbalances such as hormonal issues or nutrient deficiencies.


  • HORMONE BALANCE: Hormonal imbalances can play a role in hair loss. We may explore underlying hormonal issues and address any imbalances that could be contributing to alopecia areata.​​

To take a proactive role in managing your health, we encourage you to reach out to our team. We have extensive experience assisting individuals with conditions such as alopecia areata and are dedicated to helping you improve your symptoms and overall well-being.



 We offer a range of appointments in-person or online. 
You will receive the same service and expertise from us through our virtual, online clinic, just as you would if you visited us at our London clinic.

To discuss how we can assist you, call us on 020 3886 1339, or email us at

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