It’s Alopecia Awareness Month!
This month we celebrate all the courageous men and women who live each day with Alopecia. And we’re celebrating the best way we know how: by sharing actionable, evidence-based tips to help our readers take care of their beautiful bald domes.
Whether you’re a brand new baldie, or you’ve been rocking it since childhood, we hope that these tips will keep your skin strong and healthy skin for years to come.
What is Alopecia?
For our readers who aren't familiar, Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system targets and destroys its own hair follicles. Its likely brought on by both genetic and environmental factors. It results in hair loss, which is in some cases is temporary, but is often permanent.
The first symptoms, which may appear in early childhood or at any age, often include the loss of hair in small patches. In many cases, the disease progresses to affect the whole body. For some, hair comes and goes, and for others it stays gone.
If you’re curious about what it’s like to live with Alopecia, this powerful article from self.com is worth a read.
If you or someone you know has a child with Alopecia, please check out our friends at Children’s Alopecia Project. They offer helpful resources, support, and fun events for families affected by childhood Alopecia.
Alopecia Skin is Special
And it needs special treatment too! Body hair helps to protect our skin from sunlight, heat, cold, and water. All of these forces, when unchecked, will dry out your skin.
Dry skin can itch, crack, and create opportunities for pathogens to slip through your body’s defenses.
Your Alopecia skincare routine should help you protect your skin from the elements, wash with care, and stay moisturized.
Protecting Your Dome
Did you know that there is a giant ball of 5,505°C plasma in the sky? And that it’s constantly blasting Earth with deadly radiation?
And if you don’t take proper precautions that thing will dry out and burn your beautiful skin.
Effective sun protection is about keeping UV rays off your skin.
Your head is generally closest to the sun and is therefore most exposed to its rays. Wearing a hat while outdoors is an easy and effective way to protect your dome. An umbrella works too, and as a bonus, it gives you that awesome “Mary Poppins” vibe.
Your second line of defense is a solid sunscreen. It should be applied every 2 hours while outdoors and should cover any skin that may be exposed to the sun. Dermatologists recommend an SPF of 30 or greater for optimal protection.
Washing Your Dome
Shower time may be luxurious, but it can also take its toll on your skin. Heat, water, and scrubbing work together to strip away your natural oils. These protective oils keep your skin hydrated, and without them, it drys out quickly. Try to keep showers short and sweet.
Harsh soaps should never touch your dome. They disrupt the natural pH balance and damage the protein structure of your skin. Always choose a mild soap, with no synthetic detergents. And if it’s specifically formulated to safely clean bald domes? Even better!
Moisturizing Your Dome
Even if you relentlessly follow these precautions, your skin will still dry out. Sorry!
That's why we moisturize.
A solid moisturizer, like Head Hydrate, should be applied daily to all skin that is exposed to the elements. Moisturizers create a protective layer of lipids over your skin, which locks in moisture.
The best time to apply is after you hop out of the shower, while your skin is still a little damp. Liberally apply and rub in your moisturizer, and let it sit for a minute before gently dabbing yourself dry.
These special cases won’t apply to everyone with Alopecia but are important for some. If you have lost hair in any of these areas, check out these tips.
- Nose: If you’ve lost your inner nose hairs, dermatologists recommend applying a small amount of antibiotic ointment to the inside of each nostril daily. Nose hairs help to keep dust and germs out. The ointment will take over that job.
- Eyes: Eyelashes keep dust and junk out of your eyes. If yours have fallen out, consider using fake eyelashes or wearing glasses to protect your eyes.
- Shaving: In many cases, people won’t lose all of their hair at once. Often they choose to shave their head, rather than deal with patches coming and going. If you choose to shave, be sure to use plenty of shaving cream and change out your razor frequently. Take it slow, using long, smooth motions.
Happy Alopecia Month
From all of us here at Cranium Care, we’d like to wish you a very happy Alopecia Areata Awareness Month! Being boldly bald in a culture that worships hair takes courage. We see you. We appreciate you. We’re with you.
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