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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Alopecia universalis


Other Names for this Disease

  • Alopecia areata universalis
  • AU
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Overview

Alopecia universalis (AU) is a condition characterized by the complete loss of hair on the scalp and body. It is an advanced form of alopecia areata, a condition that causes round patches of hair loss.[1] Although the exact cause of AU is unknown, it is thought to be an autoimmune condition in which an affected person's immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles.[2] Roughly 20% of affected people have a family member with alopecia, suggesting that genetic factors may contribute to the development of AU.[3] There is currently no cure for AU, but sometimes hair regrowth occurs on it's own, even after many years.[2][4]
Last updated: 11/23/2014

References

  1. Chantal Bolduc. Alopecia Areata. Medscape Reference. March 19, 2014; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1069931-overview. Accessed 8/26/2014.
  2. Alopecia Areata: Questions and Answers About Alopecia Areata. National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders (NIAMS). January 2012; http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Alopecia_Areata/. Accessed 10/30/2014.
  3. Alopecia areata. MedlinePlus. 11/20/2012; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001450.htm.
  4. Types of Alopecia Areata. National Alopecia Areata Foundation. 2011; http://www.naaf.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_alopecia_types. Accessed 7/11/2014.
Your Questions Answered
by the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

5 question(s) from the public on Alopecia universalis have been answered. See questions and answers. You can also submit a new question.

Basic Information

  • DermNet NZ is an online resource about skin diseases developed by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated. DermNet NZ provides information about this condition.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
    Alopecia Areata 1
    Alopecia Universalis Congenita
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Alopecia universalis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

Resources for Kids

Other Names for this Disease
  • Alopecia areata universalis
  • AU
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.