The Psychiatric Aspects of Alopecia Areata

Erfan G., Albayrak Y.

Journal of Clinical Medicine Research Updates, no.1, pp.21-23, 2014 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Alopecia areata (AA) refers to noncicatricial hair loss. It is defined as a secondary psychiatric disorder in the classification of psycho dermatological disorders. Its profound effect on a person’s physical appearance and the resulting emotional stress have led many researchers to investigate psychiatric aspects of AA in recent decades [1, 2]. This study presents a review of the literature and highlights psychiatric aspects of AA. The results showed that both pediatric and adult patients with AA have a high risk of depression and anxiety. Dermatologists should consider a psychiatric evaluation of female patients under 20 years with AA to detect potential depression and anxiety. As much as alexithymia also in association of AA and other psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), personality, manic, bipolar, attention deficit, phobic disorders, further investigations are needed. The evaluation of the psychological status of patients with AA is extremely important to aid the well-being of individuals suffering from this disease.