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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Alopecia universalis


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • Alopecia areata universalis
  • Alopecia universalis congenita
  • AU
  • Generalized atrichia
  • Loss of all hair on the body
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Your Question

My fiance has alopecia universalis. He has no family history of this condition. Recently, I read that the disease is hereditary. This worries me. Please help me understand our future children's chance of developing alopecia universalis.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

If one parent has alopecia universalis, what is the chance that a couple's child will be affected?

If one parent has alopecia areata or alopecia universalis (a more severe form of alopecia areata), the couple's child would have an estimated 6% lifetime risk for alopecia[1][2] and a 2% lifetime risk for alopecia universalis.[1]
Last updated: 7/12/2013

What are some other risk factors for developing alopecia universalis?

Because of the low lifetime risk found in families with alopecia universalis, it is assumed that genetics account for only a portion of the risk. At this time, very little is known regarding other risk factors.[3]
Last updated: 7/12/2013