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(baldness) n. absence of hair from areas where it normally grows. Non-scarring alopecias include male-pattern balding, which is familial, and androgenetic alopecia in women, in which the hair loss is associated with increasing age. Acute hair fall (telogen effluvium), in which much or all of the hair is shed but may start to regrow at once, may occur after pregnancy or a serious illness. Alopecia areata consists of bald patches that may regrow; it is an example of an organ-specific autoimmune disease. Alopecia totalis is loss of all the scalp hair, due to an autoimmune condition; in some 70% of cases it regrows within a few years. Alopecia universalis is loss of all body hair. In scarring (or cicatricial) alopecias the hair does not regrow; examples include lichen planus and discoid lupus erythematosus.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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