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NAAF Statement on the Upcoming Oscars

Alopecia areata is no joke.

The controversy at the 2022 Academy Awards ceremonies helped raise important awareness of alopecia areata, a common but serious autoimmune skin disease that causes hair loss on the scalp, face and sometimes on other areas of the body. Widely misunderstood, and often unknown, this disease affects nearly seven million people in the United States and 160 million people worldwide.

Alopecia areata can affect anyone at any age and may be a temporary or life-long condition. Fifty percent of patients experience their first episode before the age of twenty. Many people living with the disease are suffering, and we must do more to support this community and erase the stigma, discrimination, and societal barriers that persist.

The disease can be unpredictable and cause significant physical, emotional/mental health, psycho-social, and financial burdens. There is currently no cure or standard of care. In 2022, the FDA approved the first treatment for alopecia areata – a watershed moment for the community, which represented significant leadership by the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF). But more treatments are needed.

NAAF is the leading organization dedicated to funding research to find a cure or acceptable treatments, supporting those with the disease, and educating the public about alopecia areata. We are here to support those in need, especially in the wake of emotional moments such as the one we all witnessed at the 2022 Academy Awards. If comfortable doing so, we encourage those living with the disease to share more about alopecia areata, to help raise awareness and reduce stigma. We encourage the general public to learn more about the disease to better understand why alopecia areata is no joke.