Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that affects hairs and nails. Inflammation deep under the skin in a region of the hair follicle known as the bulb leads to the production of weak hair follicles that break easily. Hair breakage is commonly seen in active alopecia areata. The photograph here shows a hair follicle that is about to break. Within hours the hair will likely break off at the site demarcated by the arrow. Treatment of alopecia areata can reduce inflammation and lead to the production of stronger hairs that do not break.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887