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What is alopecia?

More on actress Jada Pinkett Smith's condition
Posted at 8:24 PM, Mar 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-28 21:28:12-04

WELLINGTON, Fla. — Conversations sparked about alopecia after comedian Chris Rock told a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith during the Academy Awards.

"I suffer from alopecia from a young age," said Evelyn Metellus.

Metellus is a hairstylist. She knows what it's like to lose her hair, that's why she helps people with alopecia.

"It definitely does something to their self-esteem," she said. "A woman suffering from alopecia does not feel comfortable in public if someone even looks at them."

Dr. Mournir Wassef, with Dermatology & Cutaneious Surgery Institute, also has alopecia. He eventually shaved his head.

"So the word alopecia means hair loss, a medical term for hair loss. I have a very common type of alopecia called androgenic alopecia," said Wassef. "This is a hormonal alopecia caused by androgens. Most guys experience this."

“It does affect their self-esteem it does affect their social interactions," he added.

Finding the best solution can help boost confidence.

"It's an immune driven disease, so most of the modalities to treat that condition is geared towards immune suppression," said Wassef. "Whether it's locally through injections or creams or for more advanced cases."

Alopecia can be caused by a number of things but there are ways to treat it.

"Some diseases would have alopecia as part of their presentation that can happen with a person with lupus for example. Some alopecia are caused by infection, an infection of the scalp," said Wassef. "Hair transplant is an option, also hair pieces and wigs now, very, very well done."