Monday, November 8, 2010

Real Housewives Star: 'My Son Has Alopecia'

The Real Housewives of New York star Jennifer Gilbert recently revealed that her two-year old son has been diagnosed with alopecia. Read the full interview at

Although Jennifer doesn't specify the type of alopecia - 'alopecia' refers to a broad group of hair loss conditions, including male pattern baldness - her son was probably diagnosed with either alopecia areata or alopecia areata universalis - these are auto-immune disorders in which the body's own defenses target the hair follicles, producing baldness. 

It's tricky to tell which type he has, because he is so young. Alopecia areata typically affects one area of the body - like the scalp. It can produce patches or total scalp hair loss. Alopecia universalis, on the other hand, affects the body hair as well. However, as her son is still an infant, it would be hard to tell if that was in fact taking place.

Unfortunately, little is known about these conditions and effective treatments are not yet available.