What causes round or oval bald patches on the body and what should I do?

Symptom Database

Have you noticed round or oval bald patches on your body? If so, you may be experiencing a condition known as alopecia areata. This type of hair loss is characterized by patchy hair loss, where round or oval bald patches appear on the scalp, face, or other parts of the body. In this article, we will explore the causes of round or oval bald patches and discuss potential treatments and solutions for hair regrowth.

Understanding Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes the body’s immune system to mistakenly attack the hair follicles. This attack leads to hair loss and the formation of round or oval bald patches on the body. The exact cause of alopecia areata is still unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Causes of Round Bald Patches

The specific cause of round bald patches in alopecia areata is the immune system’s attack on the hair follicles. However, certain triggers can contribute to the development of this condition. These triggers include:

  • Stress: High levels of stress can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of developing alopecia areata.
  • Genetics: Individuals with a family history of autoimmune diseases or alopecia areata are more likely to develop round bald patches.
  • Hormonal Changes: Hormonal imbalances, such as those experienced during pregnancy or menopause, can trigger hair loss patches.
  • Infections: Certain infections, such as viral or bacterial infections, can activate the immune system and lead to hair loss.

Treatment Options for Hair Regrowth

While there is no known cure for alopecia areata, there are several treatment options available to promote hair regrowth and manage the condition. These treatments include:

Topical Treatments

Topical treatments, such as corticosteroid creams or ointments, can be applied directly to the affected areas to reduce inflammation and stimulate hair regrowth. These treatments are often prescribed by dermatologists and should be used as directed.


In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be recommended to treat round bald patches. These injections are administered directly into the affected areas and can help stimulate hair regrowth.


Immunotherapy involves applying a chemical irritant, such as diphencyprone (DPCP), to the bald patches. This irritant triggers an allergic reaction, which can stimulate hair regrowth. This treatment is typically performed under the supervision of a dermatologist.

Wigs or Hairpieces

For individuals who prefer a non-medical approach, wearing wigs or hairpieces can help conceal round bald patches and boost self-confidence. There are various options available, ranging from synthetic wigs to natural hairpieces.

Managing Round Bald Patches

In addition to seeking treatment options, there are several ways to manage round bald patches caused by alopecia areata:


Taking care of your overall health and well-being can help manage the symptoms of alopecia areata. This includes eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and practicing stress-reducing techniques such as meditation or yoga.

Support Groups

Joining a support group or connecting with others who have experienced hair loss can provide emotional support and helpful tips for managing round bald patches. Sharing experiences and learning from others can be empowering.

Hairstyling Techniques

Experimenting with different hairstyles and haircuts can help camouflage round bald patches. Working with a skilled hairstylist who understands your condition can provide valuable insights and suggestions.


Round or oval bald patches on the body can be a distressing symptom of alopecia areata. While there is no known cure for this condition, there are various treatment options available to promote hair regrowth and manage the symptoms. It is important to consult with a dermatologist to determine the best course of action for your specific situation. Additionally, practicing self-care and seeking support from others can help you navigate the emotional challenges associated with hair loss. Remember, you are not alone, and there are solutions available to help you regain your confidence and embrace your unique beauty.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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