Actress Ashley Tisdale is working to raise awareness about autoimmune disorders. In fact, the 37-year-old recently revealed that she has a disease that affects many people: alopecia. The High School Musical star wants others struggling with alopecia or similar conditions not to be ashamed.
In a recent Instagram reel, Tisdale broke her silence about having the autoimmune disease. Turns out, the actress has been living with the condition since her early 20s.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “[Alopecia] is a disease that develops when the body attacks its own hair follicles (where hair grows from), which can cause hair loss anywhere on the body.” It can begin at any age, although many people begin to experience symptoms of the disorder in childhood and adolescence.
Tisdale was first diagnosed with the disorder after noticing a bald spot near her forehead. Tisdale shared, “I asked my hair colorist, ‘What is that?’ and she was like, ‘Oh, that’s alopecia.’”
The actress followed up with her dermatologist, who confirmed the diagnosis. As Tisdale explained, “It’s autoimmune and a lot of it is triggered by stress. And I was going through a really stressful time.”
As Tisdale reflected, “There [have been] a couple of times in my life where I’ve had stressful events and noticed that my [alopecia] will come back.”
Tisdale revealed that she is currently experiencing another flare-up. She shared that this latest outbreak led her to open up about her disease. According to Tisdale, “I wanted to share a couple of things that have helped me because it can be stressful just having [alopecia].”
Three Things That Help Tisdale With Her Alopecia
For Tisdale, learning how to limit stress has been key to reducing her alopecia outbreaks. As she remarked, “I find that what has helped me is stress management.” The actress’ personal stress management regimen includes therapy, meditation, and yoga.
Tisdale went on to stress that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment has been a game changer for her. “PRP is amazing,” Tisdale admitted. “It is more of an expensive route, but I do find that it is really helpful.”
Since PRP treatment uses a patient’s platelets to accelerate healing and support cell growth, the star’s hair has grown back quickly in those areas.
Diet also plays a huge role in managing flare-ups for Tisdale. Her go-to diet during outbreaks is the autoimmune paleo diet. “It’s really healing to the gut,” the actress shared, highlighting that it “helps eliminate and reintroduce inflammatory foods for gut healing.”
While Tisdale shared many of the tips and tricks that help her manage her condition, her main goal is to help those struggling to come to terms with their own diagnosis. The actress shared, “If you struggle with [alopecia], you are not alone.”