Alopecia means loss of hair or baldness. There are several different causes and patterns of alopecia. Alopecia areata is one type of hair loss. Estimates of the number of people affected vary between 1 in 1,000 to 2 in 100 at some point in their life. Alopecia areata can occur at any age but most cases first develop in teenagers and children. In about 6 in 10 cases the first patch of hair loss develops before the age of 20 years. Males and females are equally affected in younger age groups but those affected later on are mainly women. The condition tends to be milder when it first develops at an older age.
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