What is Alopecia Universalis?




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What is Alopecia Universalis?

Alopecia universalis is the advanced form of alopecia areata, a condition that leads to round patches of hair loss.  Common types of alopecia areata are:

  • Alopecia areata patchy – The most common form of alopecia areata, with coin-sized hairless patches on the scalp.
  • Alopecia totalis– total baldness on the scalp
  • Alopecia universalis – total hair loss on the entire body
  • Alopecia barbae – form of alopecia areata that affects the beard

Alopecia universalis is an autoimmune condition that causes complete hair loss throughout the scalp and body.

Patient with alopecia universalis usually start off with alopecia areata patchy with coin sized bald patches to the scalp.  However, as the condition worsens, alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis occurs.

Alopecia universalis is a rare skin disease.  Statistics show that only 1 in 4000 people get this disease. It is estimated of the number of people with alopecia areata who eventually develop alopecia totalis or unversalis or range from 7% to 25%.

What Causes Alopecia Universalis?

There is no cure for alopecia universalis.  It is an autoimmune condition in which your own immune system mistakenly thinks hair follicles as invaders and attacks them as a defense mechanism, causing inflammation and hair loss.

While genetic studies have found that alopecia areata and alopecia universalis are associated with several immune-related genes, they are likely ultimately caused by the interaction of multiple genetic and environmental factors.

People that may have susceptibility for the condition may not develop it unless something in the environment triggers its onset.  Factors that may trigger the onset or recurrence of hair loss may include chronic stress, a viral infection, trauma, hormonal changes, diet and nutrition (vitamin deficiencies).

How to Treat Alopecia Universalis?

Although there is no cure for alopecia universalis, some treatments may help with the condition. Treatment for alopecia universalis is unpredictable.  Patients with this condition may continue to lose hair, or hair loss may stop during treatment. Hair that have already been lost may grow back over time, but most do not.  It is estimated that only 10% of patients experience full recovery.

A skin biopsy or a blood test to test is recommended for signs of an infection or an underlying medical condition, including an autoimmune disorder.

Prescription and nonprescription treatments are available for alopecia universalis.  Although there is no cure, some treatments may help with the condition.  The odds of a positive outlook are higher the earlier you begin treatment for this condition. Medical prescription treatments may have unwanted side effects.

At the TRICHOLOGY CENTRE, we believe there are better alternatives for treating alopecia universalis that don’t have the negative side effects associated with certain prescribed drugs. For those patients, who want to opt for a more natural course of treatment, please contact the Trichology Centre at 647-492-9093 for a free hair and scalp consultation and learn more about our non-prescribed hair loss treatments.

Medical prescribed treatments for Alopecia Universalis

Minoxidil (Rogaine)

Minoxidil is an antihypertensive vasodilator. It is commonly used to treat male pattern baldness. For best results, use this medication in conjunction with other therapies. Hair may begin to regrow within three months.

Side Effects: Side effects associated with Minoxidil include severe scalp irritation, unwanted growth of facial hair, chest pains and/or fast heartbeats, swelling in your hands and feet, flushing, headache, dizziness, confusion, unusual weight gain.


Corticosteroids helps stop the immune system from attacking healthy tissue. As a result, you may notice less hair loss. You may begin to regrow hair in affected areas.

Side Effects: Side effects of corticosteroids used on a long-term basis (longer than 3 months) include: osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension, weight gain, thinning of the skin, bruising easily, increased vulnerability to infection, cataracts and glaucoma.

Diphencyprone (DPCP)

DPCP is a topical treatment helps stimulate hair follicles and promotes hair growth. It was designed to stimulate an allergic reaction, which prompts an increase in white blood cell count, stimulating hair growth.

Side Effects: Side effects associated with topical immunotherapy using DPCP include eczema, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation. Some patients may experience severe burning, itching, blistering or swelling of treated areas. As diphenylcyclopropenone is most often applied to the scalp, the reaction may make wearing headwear or wigs. Swollen lymph nodes may be noticeable behind the ears.

Tofacitinib (Xeljanz)

This new therapy, originally developed for rheumatoid arthritis, shows significant promise in treating the many forms of alopecia areata.

Side Effects: Severe stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes, vomiting, clay-coloured stools, dark-coloured urine, pale skin, skin rash, shortness of breath.

Nonprescription Treatments for Alopecia Universalis

The role of diet and nutrition to help treat alopecia universalis is growing. New evidenced-based recommendations that micronutrients including certain vitamins and minerals have shown positive results. Micronutrients can reduce oxidative stress, an increasingly suspected contributor to alopecia universalis. Vitamin D have shown to help modify the immune response by inhibiting Th1 cell proliferation. Current literature has consistently demonstrated lower vitamin D levels in patients with alopecia universalis.

Vitamin D – Vitamin D boosts immunity, keeps bones strong and skin healthy, stimulates cell growth, and helps create new hair follicles. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to alopecia areata.

Zinc – Zinc is an essential mineral upon which hundreds of enzymes depend for their catalytic activity.

Iron or ferritin – Iron deficiency remains the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, a sign of which includes chronic diffuse telogen hair loss.

Vitamin A or retinoid or retinol – Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for hair follicles. It also helps skin glands make sebum. Sebum moisturizes the scalp and helps keep hair healthy.

Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. It also helps your body absorb iron, a mineral necessary for hair growth.

Biotin – Biotin is an important coenzyme for carboxylation reactions. Biotin deficiency has been shown to cause hair loss.

Vitamin B12 or cobalamin – B12 contribute to nucleic acid production and thus possess an important role in the health of the hair follicles.

Folic acid or folate – Folic acid is primarily responsible for healthy cell growth including the cells in hair follicles.

Copper – copper acts with zinc in the antioxidant enzyme copper/zinc superoxide dismutase.

Adding certain vitamins and minerals can help promote hair growth and nurture the hair follicles and scalp.  Speak with a certified Trichologist on the best dietary, vitamins and minerals to help you with alopecia universalis.

Vitamin E – Like vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that can prevent oxidative stress. In one documented study, people with hair loss experienced a 34.5% increase in hair growth after supplementing with vitamin E for 8 months.

Magnesium – Magnesium acts as a cofactor for over 300 enzyme systems, and plays an important role in nucleotide synthesis, a frequent process in the rapidly dividing hair follicle.

Selenium – Selenium also contributes to antioxidant defense mechanisms via its interaction with the enzyme glutathione peroxidase.

Cosmetic solutions to Alopecia Universalis

SMP Scalp Micropigmentation is a popular cosmetic solution for alopecia universalis.  If your condition persist and hair is not growing back fully, you may consider SMP to camouflage the bald spots.  SMP, commonly known as hair tattoo, the technique of placing individual pigment tattoo to replicate the appearance of real hair follicles. For more information about scalp micropigmentation, please visit Here

Mesotherapy solutions for Alopecia Universalis

Mesotherapy is a technique that uses micro needling of vitamins, enzymes, hormones, and plant extracts to rejuvenate the scalp and hair follicles.

AAPE® (Adipose-derived stem cells Protein Extracts) is a mixture of refined growth factors extracted from human adipose to promote hair growth and scalp health using outstanding ingredients approved by US FDA and CFDA. AAPE has been proven to be highly effective therapy for hair regeneration. For more information about AAPE visit Here


The Theradome® brings you the world’s most advanced laser hair growth treatment to enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Unlike Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) devices, our laser light targets the stem cells at the base of hair follicles. This allows the formation of a new photonic pathway that can restore hair to a healthy state. Theradome® one-of-a-kind laser hair helmet was engineered based on four crucial scientific criteria, which together provide the most powerful and efficacious laser hair growth treatment available. For more information about Theradome®, please visit: https://laserhairtherapy.ca.

With the numerous available treatments for alopecia areata our Trichologist can recommend the best treatment that can help with alopecia areata. At Trichology Centre, we have helped patients with alopecia areata, advising them the best treatments available and helping them regain their confidence and self-esteem. Early assessment and treatment from the onset of hair loss is important and can help prevent the condition to worsen.


If you’re worried about certain hair loss medications that contain ingredients that may cause some side effects such as Minoxidil, we offer a hair loss treatment called Nourkrin®.  Nourkrin® contains natural ingredients and has been clinically proven to help thinning hair. The key active ingredients are marine-based extracts of proteins and polysaccharides that have been combined with silica, vitamin C, and horsetail extract. Developed by scientists in Finland, Nourkrin® has been the subject of many double blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies, the latest of which showed that 77% of all participants reported a positive effect during a six-month treatment period and their hair count increased by an average of 35.7%.


Pharma Hermetic Hair Recovery Program® works at revitalizing the hair bulb and obtaining a greater thickness and strength. It helps strengthen the anchorage of the root and rebalance the scalp.

In addition, the Hair Recovery Program® SP55, enhance the growth of new hair and activates dormant follicles thanks to its effective active ingredients. Providing all the necessary nutrients to repair the weakened and brittle hair. After the treatment, the hair becomes thicker and more voluminous.

We rely on ingredients suitable to penetrate the scalp and stop hair loss.

  • Thicker hair.
  • More density.
  • No side effect.
  • Topical application.
  • Lasting results.
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With the numerous available treatments for alopecia universalis our Trichologist can recommend the best treatment that can help with this condition. At the Trichology Centre, we have helped patients with alopecia universalis, advising them the best treatments available and helping them regain their confidence and self-esteem. Early assessment and treatment from the onset of hair loss is important and can help prevent the condition to worsen. Please fill out the initial trichology assessment form here: https://hairlossclinic.ca/trichology-assessment-form/ to get started.

We have two clinics in the Toronto GTA,

TRICHOLOGY CENTRE | hairlossclinic.ca | hairtattoo.ca | laserhairtherapy.ca

225 Wellesley St E, Toronto
9140 Leslie St, Richmond Hill.
Please give us a call at 647-492-9093


Toronto, 225 Wellesley St East #5

Richmond Hill, 9140 Leslie St #301


(647) 492-9093




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