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Nice Beard
January 2001

Q. I am a 36-year-old male with patchy facial hair. I would like to know if there is anything that I could do or take to increase my facial hair so I can grow a nice beard?

A. The condition you are describing sounds like alopecia areata, hair loss in a partial or patchy distribution. This is thought to occur from an autoimmune reaction in which the body's immune system forms antibodies to its own normal tissue, in this case the hair follicles. This condition occurs in men and women and can be quite disturbing. The reason for this occurrence is unknown.

Treatment is aimed at restoring hair growth in the area involved, or suppressing the immune reaction. Topical medication such as Rogaine usually only help if used in the early stages of the condition. Under the treatment of a dermatologist, injection of a cortisone preparation into the area of hair loss often helps.

Here are some internet references for your review:

http://www.alopeciaareata.com/

http://www.ahlc.org/alopec.htm

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