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Table 3 Signs/symptoms and physical impacts of AA

From: “‘You lose your hair, what’s the big deal?’ I was so embarrassed, I was so self-conscious, I was so depressed:” a qualitative interview study to understand the psychosocial burden of alopecia areata

Concept Patients with experience of concept, n (%)
(N = 45)
Example quote(s)
Hair loss 45 (100)  
 Scalp 45 (100) “It started off as spots. Then the spots grew bigger and bigger, and at times it regrows a bit. And, again, it’s kind of an episode. You won’t lose hair all the time, but, when you do lose hair, it’s kind of drastic to see.” (35-M)
 Eyebrows 38 (84) “They’re pretty sparse. There’s probably like maybe five [hairs] in each eyebrow.” (19-F)
 Eyelashes 32 (71) “It started on one eye and just kind of progressively like went down the lid, falling out. The other one started falling and eventually all the eyelashes were gone.” (11-M)
 Nasal hair 14 (31) “I lost the hair in my nose as well, so, yes, again, you don’t get the protection again there.” (25-F)
 Male facial hair 11 (58a) “I had a full beard, literally. A full beard and it’s all gone.” (26-M)
 Body hair 36 (80) “I’ve lost all the hair on my arms and on my legs. Started losing the hair underneath my, on my armpit region.” (08-M)
 Full body 28 (62) “Well, I have no hair anywhere at all. So it’s affected from my head to my legs, my under arms, private areas, everywhere.” (41-F)
Nail signs/ symptoms 14 (31)  
 Pitted/ Rough/ Brittle/ Split 14 (31) “They’re very weak and they’re bumpy so when I apply nail polish there’s like ridges, waves. It’s just superficial but I like to have my nails look nice.” (06-F)
 Nail pain 2 (4) “Since the nail is not attached all the way […] if I were to whack it, be clumsy or whatever, I’d be in pain for days.” (24-F)
Scalp skin signs/ symptoms 12 (27)  
 Itching/ Numbing/ Tingling 10 (22) “When hair was growing it was very itchy.” (29-F)
“I kind of feel like a light, numbing feel. There’s a difference in the texture of the way my skin feels when it gets touched or rubbed or hit. So I actually do feel the difference. If I were to, say, touch my arm, I can feel that more than my scalp.” (01-M)
 Burning/ Inflammation 4 (9) “Sometimes I get red bumps and a lot of times the area, it will get red and hot, you can feel it before the hair starts to come out.” (18-F)
 Dry, flaky skin 4 (9) “I noticed it was very dry and flaky.” (05-F)
 Oily 1 (2) “I guess the hair soaked up usually sometimes the oils, natural oils.” (07-M)
Eye irritation 22 (49) “When I started losing my eyelashes and they’ve kind of come and gone, I noticed me eyes are much more irritated now. Like in the last couple of years, my eyes will get red, they burn, I feel like there’s stuff in my eyes.” (08-M)
Nasal irritation 8 (18)  
 Inhalation of debris 3 (7) “I breathe in more than your average person that has hair. I guess it’s like a filter. I notice a big difference. I got to blow my nose out every night. I got to shower at least 20 min in steam to get it all out.” (01-M)
 Nasal dripping 3 (7) “I feel like I have constant nasal drippage, and it’s disgusting […] It’ll just like start, liquid will start pouring out.” (27-F)
 Sneezing 2 (4) “When I sneeze I do it either five or six times in a row […] I didn’t have that when I had nose hairs.” (07-M)
Poor thermoregulation 3 (7) “During sleep, during waking hours, from the cold weather to the hot weather, you can’t regulate your body temperature.” (24-F)
Sunburn 3 (7) “Your hair gets really thin so sun passes through it. So I would get sunburns on my scalp very easily, I would feel my head burning.” (10-F)
  1. aCalculated as a percentage of male patients (N = 19)