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Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata-Why do hairs sometimes grow back white?

To understand why some hairs grow back white, we need to take a closer look at the cause of alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system is reacting against itself.

In patients with alopecia areata, we know that the overactive immune system targets hair follicles. It also targets pigment related proteins in the hair follicle as well as the actual cells that reside in the hair follicle and produce pigment (called melanocytes). Although we often say it is an autoimmune disease that affects hair follicles, a more accurate way to describe the condition would be to say that alopecia areata is an auto immune condition that affects:

1) hair follicles

 2) melanocytes that reside in hair follicles and their associated proteins and

3) nails.


Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299



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