by Jessica E. Subject
The heroine in Beneath the Starry Sky, Tamara Johnston, deals with Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune skin disorder which may appear as one or more small, round or oval-shaped patches on the head, to a complete loss of all body hair. This non-contagious disease occurs when the body’s immune system mistakes hair follicles as foreign invaders. Often beginning in childhood, Alopecia Areata affects almost two percent of Americans regardless of sex, age, or Ethnic background.
If you have a close family member with Alopecia Areata, you have a slightly increased chance of developing the disease, but it often occurs in people with a family history of other autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, and more.
In most cases, hair does grow back, but it may fall out again before the disease runs its course. There is no cure or drugs approved to treat Alopecia Areata, although some medications approved for other purposes can help hair to grow back, at least temporarily.
It is important to note that while the effects of Alopecia Areata can be socially and emotionally disturbing, it is not a painful disease, nor does it make people physically sick. Those with the disease are generally healthy otherwise.
(Information taken from: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Alopecia_Areata/default.asp)
To learn more about Alopecia Areata and to help find a cure, visit the National Alopecia Areata Foundation http://www.naaf.org and the Canadian Alopecia Areata Foundation http://canaaf.org/
Beneath the Starry Sky Blurb
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Jessica Subject started writing to encourage her daughter to read. Now she writes to keep herself grounded. Although she reads many genres, she enjoys writing Science Fiction Romance the most and believes everyone in the universe deserves a happily ever after. She lives Southwestern Ontario, Canada with her husband and two kids and loves to hear from anyone who has enjoyed her stories.