September is Alopecia Areata Awareness Month - it is also the 13th year of the onset of my struggle with this disease. Alopecia is a relatively unknown disease that remains mostly misunderstood. One in 100 people in this world are affected by this disease in varying degrees. The “awareness” calendar is filled with causes and diseases - October and Breast Cancer being the most prominent but Alopecia Areata does not get the recognition of other diseases or the research funding. It is not a household word and it continues to carry a stigma to all those affected. Certainly if you are flying Delta Airlines this month, you will not be offered blue drinks - but next month you see pink drinks being passed around for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
What can we do to change this? Here are some simple rules:
1. Do not assume that a someone that has lost their hair is being treated for cancer.
2. If you MUST approach a bald person and ask about their hair loss, please take the time to listen and learn when they explain their disease
3. Take that knowledge and share it with others so that they may be educated as well.
If we all do our part to eradicate the misunderstanding about this disease, think how much easier the lives of aloepecians would be! We can all do our part to educate the public about alopecia, one head at a time.