Alopecia Areata (AA) causes hair loss in small, round patches that may go away on their own, or may last for many years. Nearly 2% of the U.S. population (about four million people) will develop AA in their lifetime. Some people with AA (about 5%) may lose all scalp hair (alopecia totalis) or all scalp and body hair (alopecia universalis). The immune system, for unknown reasons, attacks the hair root and causes hair loss.
Ashiness also can affect the scalp. Pomades or hair oils that make the air more manageable can decrease scalp dryness, but may aggravate seborrhea, an inflammatory, scaly, itchy skin problem. If pomade or hair oil spreads onto the forehead, it can block pores causing pimples or “pomade acne.” Pomades also can contribute to a bacterial infection of the scalp called folliculitis, which produces pus, bumps, and redness around the air. It can also cause hair loss. If this occurs, discontinue using the pomade and see a dermatologist.
Molluscum contagiosum is a common skin disease caused by a virus which affects the top layers of the skin. The name molluscum contagiosum implies that the virus develops growths that are easily spread by skin contact. Similar to warts, this virus belongs to the poxvirus family and enters the skin through small breaks of hair follicles. It does not affect any internal organs.