Unstoppable NFL and NBA Alopecia Trendsetters

Have you ever looked in the mirror, and noticed a patch of your hair was suddenly gone? You are not alone. In spite of unwelcomed alopecia adversities, you too can become a Trendsetter.
This article will provide education on a condition which affects 10% of the American population… alopecia areata, alopecia totalis, and alopecia universalis. Globally, the stats are much higher, and contributing causes vary per individual.

Alopecia areata is an unpredictable, non-contagious, autoimmune disease that causes hair to fall out in round or oval patches. The word alopecia comes from the Greek word alopecia and means “loss of hair.” Areata, is derived from the Latin word meaning “occurring in patches.”  This disease affects approximately 5 million Americans; however, I will not exclude cultures on a global scale.  There is no way to predict who might be affected with alopecia areata. Some people who lose scalp hair due to alopecia areata find that their hair re-grows spontaneously in a relatively short time, while for others this condition progresses, and they continue to have additional patchy bald spots, losing all scalp hair, which is known as alopecia totalis. This condition progresses to alopecia universalis  which affects the scalp and other body parts.

Few people will deny that having alopecia areata affects them psychologically. It can also result in social trauma for millions of men, women and children, affecting daily social situations and personal interactions. Often, it is how co-workers, friends and/or family members react to alopecia areata, that is the most crucial factor in how well a person copes. So PLEASE use caution WITH YOUR WORDS when you say “It’s only Hair,” or “Just get a Wig,” or “Hair loss is ONLY a Cosmetic Problem.” Put yourself in this person’s shoes. Losing hair can be devastating!  I suggest you always be complimentary to this individual by letting them know that you care about them, how their happiness is important to you, and how you will support them through this challenging time; and, if this applies, tell them You Love Them!  Furthermore, you could emphasize how their “Inner Beauty Shines more than their Outer Beauty to You!” This can be a very powerful statement, when said with meaning.
Charlie  Alexander Villanueva is the Son of Roberto Villanueva and Doris Mejia.  He is an NBA player who is in his second season playing for the Dallas Mavericks. Charlie previously played for the Detroit Pistons. According to  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Villanueva, Charlie was first drafted at the age of 20, and  is a first-generation American Latino (his parents are from the Dominican Republic).  His alopecia began at the age of 10, and he suffers from Alopecia Universalis. He is the spokesperson for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF).  Charlie won the NBA’s Community Assist Award in February 2006 for his work with theCharlie’s Angels on the Roadprogram, which conducts pre-game meet and greets in visiting NBA arenas with people affected by Alopecia Areata.  In addition, Charlie shined as a Trendsetter, starting theCharlie Villanueva Foundation(CVF), which serves as a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating bullying. CVF supports organizations that maintain programs which provide guidance in creating non-violent solutions to challenges and problems associated with bullying. Follow #3 of the Dallas Mavericks on the basketball courts.

The onset of alopecia areata may include one or more of the following triggers:
•   Extensive Mental Stress
•   Genetic Predisposition
•   Family Death
•   Environmental triggers
•   Autoimmunity
•   Abnormal keratinocytes
•   Shock and Sudden Extreme Stress
•   Physical Trauma
•   Local Skin Injury
•   Pregnancy/Hormones
•   Allergies
•   Chemicals
•   Rubber Plant Work Environment
•   Viral/bacterial Infection
•   Domestic Violence

Ryan Shazier is a 23-year old linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the son of Reverend Vernon and Shawn Shazier.  He previously played for Ohio State University. This 6’1, 237 pound player, has a speed of 4.36 in the 40-yard dash. Fast! Ryan was affected with alopecia at the age of 5. He first had round patches which progressed to alopecia universalis. His parents helped him through his challenging times of scalp injections from the dermatologist, and coping with name calling throughout his childhood. Yes, kids are cruel when they do not understand the medical condition which contributes to alopecia.
According to Jeremy Fowler, an ESPN staff writer, ‘Ryan’shair would fall out in patches, which kids in the stands at his football games would notice when he took off his helmet. The laughing and taunting was clearly audible to his parents. He was called patchy, patch, cue ball, and other harsh names. With loving parents, and the confidence that came from excelling in football, Shazier has earned new nicknames – ‘playmaker, first-rounder, potential Steelers star.’
Ryan, a Trendsetter, formed Creative Artists Agency, which is an excellent platform to help kids cope with alopecia.Follow #50 on the football fields.

Because alopecia areata affects people’s lives so dramatically, many people will do almost anything, and try everything on the market to re-grow their hair. In many cases, re-growing their hair becomes the focus of their lives. For others, the most important issue is to look normal, and they purchase hairpieces, wigs, hair weaves, hats, and scarves to avoid social embarrassment. 

Between 7% to 66% of people with alopecia areata also have aberrant nail formation. The most common finding is nail pitting. Several other nail abnormalities such as longitudinal ridging, brittle nails, spotting of the lunulae, koilonychias, onycholysis, and onychomadesis have been reported.  Nail abnormalities can precede, follow, or occur concurrently with alopecia areata. There are support groups and websites such as NAAF, National Alopecia Areata Foundation – www.alopeciaareata.com, and Alopecia World at www.alopeciaworld.com,  available to assist people who suffer with these conditions.

For additional questions and information, contact Dr. Linda Amerson at (817) 265-8854 orwww.hairandscalpessentials.com.  Listen to our weekly radio show Ask the Hair & Scalp Doctor Radio Showon Wednesdays from 11am-12pm onwww.DfwiRadio.com



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