Alopecia Areata

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

It is possible that the main title of the report Alopecia Areata is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • Alopecia Celsi
  • Alopecia Circumscripta
  • Cazenave's Vitiligo
  • Celsus' Vitiligo
  • Jonston's Alopecia
  • Porrigo Decalvans
  • Vitiligo Capitis
  • Alopecia Cicatrisata

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Alopecia areata is a disorder characterized by loss of hair. Sometimes, this means simply a few bare patches on the scalp. In other cases, hair loss is more extensive. Although the exact cause is not known, this is thought to be an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system, the body's own defense system, mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, the tiny structures from which hairs grow. Unpredictable hair loss is the only noticeable symptom of this disorder. Regrowth of hair may or may not occur. Hair loss is usually confined to the head and face, although the entire body may be involved.


National Alopecia Areata Foundation
14 Mitchell Boulevard
San Rafael, CA 94903
United States
Tel: (415)472-3780
Fax: (415)472-5343

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
22100 Gratiot Ave.
Eastpointe, MI 48021
Tel: (586)776-3900
Fax: (586)776-3903
Tel: (800)598-4668

NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Information Clearinghouse
One AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
Tel: (301)495-4484
Fax: (301)718-6366
Tel: (877)226-4267
TDD: (301)565-2966

National Cancer Institute
6116 Executive Blvd Suite 300
Bethesda, MD 20892-8322
Tel: (301)435-3848
Tel: (800)422-6237
TDD: (800)332-8615

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

Locks of Love
234 Southern Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33405-3099
Tel: (561)833-7332
Fax: (561)833-7962
Tel: (888)896-1588
TDD: (561)833-7332

Autoimmune Information Network, Inc.
PO Box 4121
Brick, NJ 08723
Fax: (732)543-7285

European Society for Immunodeficiencies
1-3 rue de Chantepoulet
Geneva, CH 1211
Tel: 410229080484
Fax: 41229069140

AutoImmunity Community

North American Hair Research Society
Dept. of Dermatology Medical Center Blvd.
Walke University School of Medicine
Winston-Salem, NC 27157
Tel: (336)776-2768
Fax: (336)776-7732

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated:  5/3/2008
Copyright  1987, 1988, 1989, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.