Marie Antoinette syndrome: Cause, symptoms, and myths
Marie Antoinette syndrome is a rare phenomenon that, in a few hours and often as a result of intense stress, whitens the hair. This syndrome also called sudden canities has not observed. Although it is an autoimmune reaction, attacking the pigmentary system hair follicles.
Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, a recorded figure so cherished and repudiated that, she will go down in the chronicles of history. She was a lady tortured and misconstrued by both individuals and her own better half. Also, they blamed her for the extreme poverty of her country and ended up facing the guillotine.
These last days of his life have been used to give a name to a phenomenon is known as the Marie Antoinette syndrome. It is a capillary alteration that may have its origin within the experimentation of stressful events.
What is the this?
It has little to do with the flavor of shoes, design, or life in the castle. Yet, alludes to an unexpected beginning hair sickness where the hair of the individual is white in a brief timeframe.
But, the main characteristic of this alteration is not that the colored hair turns white. But that the person suffers a loss of colored hair, leaving only those unpigmented fibers. Thus, it isn’t accurate that hair turns white, regardless of whether this special visualization happens.
Although it called the Marie Antoinette syndrome, it is actually a condition known as alopecia areata for dark hair. Alopecia areata may be a disease that causes hair loss in localized areas of the body.
This syndrome doesn’t influence the scalp or beard growth, yet these territories are the most influenced by this kind of alopecia. It is considered a strange type of alopecia in which the condition maintains gray or unpigmented hair. It causing only those hair of the usual color to fall.
The specific causes are not known. It is conjectured that high pressure might be the trigger of this uncommon illness.
The main consequence is that the person seems to have aged since the disease develops in a very short time. It is considered a strange type of alopecia in which the condition maintains gray or unpigmented hair.
It causing only those hair of the usual color to fall. The specific causes are not known. It is conjectured that high pressure might be the trigger of this uncommon illness. The main consequence is that the person seems to have aged since the disease develops in a very short time.
Can you make your hair white overnight?
A legend has this syndrome that the hair of Queen Marie-Antoinette would have whitened the night before her ascent on the scaffold, in 1793.
Today, It refers to a situation where all the hair turns white by one. stroke. It might as well have been called Thomas More Syndrome. He too saw his hair turn white in the Tower of London the night before his execution, in 1535.
Since then, cases of rapid whitening of hair have been described, particularly during WWII, in people who survived bombings.
What would be the cause and explanation of this syndrome? Let us first remember where the pigmentation of the hair comes from. Its color comes from the grains of melanin contained in the cortex of the hair. Melanin is produced by the active melanocytes of the pigmentation unit. They are located in the bulb of the hair follicle, around the dermal papilla.
The melanocytes are in contact with the cells of the matrix – produce the hair. In contact with the melanocytes, the keratinocytes are loaded with melanin. And this is how the hair grows pigmented, from its root.
Unlike active melanocytes, dormant melanocytes do not produce melanin
This population no longer resides in the bulb. But forms a reservoir of stem cells in the outer sheath of the hair follicle. But, at the end of each cycle, the follicle breaks down, the hair falls out, and the pigmentation unit is also destroyed.
When the follicle is reformed, the pigmentation unit regenerates itself. This allows the regrowth of a pigmented hair in place of the previous one. The “choreography” of the melanocytes of each hair follicle ensures the permanence of colored hair.
But then, why does the hair turn white?
Before, it was believed that bleaching was associated with the cessation of synthesis or transfer of melanin.
In fact, it is due to a gradual decrease in the number of melanocytes, both in the pigmentation unit and in the reservoir.
When the number of active melanocytes reaches a limit threshold. The quantity of synthesized melanin, transferred to the growing hair, is no longer enough for it: it is white. All the hair is white when all the melanocytes in the pigmentation unit and the reservoir have disappeared.
Also, the absence of expression of the enzyme TRP-2 intensifies the disappearance of melanocytes. Without this enzyme, follicular melanocytes become more sensitive to environmental attacks. In particular to oxidizing free radicals, and hair whitening accelerates.
How can hair whiten overnight?
Thus, the bleaching of the hair is progressive. But then, how can hair whiten overnight? This syndrome, called “sudden canities”, is today interpreted as an autoimmune reaction. The body’s immune system seems to have a sudden rejection reaction from the pigmentary system of the hair follicles.
If this attack occurs on salt and pepper hair, containing both pigmented hair and other already white hair. Only the pigmented hair will be “rejected”, and thus lost, while the white hair will be spared. “Overnight” bleaching is said to result from a selective rejection of pigmented hair.
What are the causes?
As mentioned above, the main causes of this syndrome are organic. But, the experimentation of high levels of anxiety and stress favors the development of this syndrome. In this manner, it is a condition with a multifactorial birthplace.
It implies that there are a few conditions that can impact its appearance. One of them is that the genetic factor, in most cases you’ll find a case history of this syndrome. On the opposite hand, it’s been found that alopecia is an autoimmune disorder.
This means that it is the person’s body that causes the symptoms. The accumulation of a specific type of lymphocyte causes stagnation in hair growth and causes extent loss. But, it’s not been possible to determine an immediate and reliable relationship between this disease.
And so the emotional factors that are related to it. It makes even more sense when remembering that there are many other hair conditions, like dandruff or dermatitis. They are associated with experiencing high periods of stress or experiences with a very high emotional charge.
Is there a treatment for it?
The incidence of this syndrome is low, occurring only between 0.2 and 0.3% of the general population. But there are effective treatments for the syndrome.
Autoimmune diseases, including alopecia, can have different effects on everyone. Thus, the treatment of choice will depend on these effects. The extent of the lesions, as well as the period of time that the disease has been manifesting. And will be factors to take into account when preparing an individualized intervention.