Alopecia Areata (AA) is an autoimmune disease involving the hair and nails. Although rare, it does tend to occur more often in people with Down syndrome. It is believed that AA is an autoimmune reaction where the body attacks its own hair follicles. A person with AA usually develops bald patches although generalized thinning or complete baldness may also occur. In most cases, children with AA may have a few small patches that disappear without treatment within one year. AA can be treated with topical steroids or topical irritants but in young children these treatments are usually not practical.
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