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Alopecia areata consists of round patches of hair loss that appear suddenly.

Any hair-bearing area can be affected but the scalp is most common.

Alopecia areata is caused by an immune reaction targeting individual hair follicles.

Regrowth can occur spontaneously and is often treated with topical or intralesional medications.

It can occur at any age, is not contagious, and sometimes starts after a stressful event.

Alopecia areata has three stages: First there is sudden loss of hair; then enlargement of the patches of hair loss; Lastly new hair usually grows back.

This may take many months to resolve.

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