Joshua Dobbs Alopecia: Vikings QB Raising Awareness for Hair-Loss Condition

Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs was diagnosed with a hair-loss condition called alopecia in the third grade and has since used his platform to raise awareness.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs has been a bright spot for the team after being traded a few weeks ago.

Dobbs started the season with the Arizona Cardinals and was traded to the Vikings after Kirk Cousins suffered an Achilles tear in Week 8 against the Green Bay Packers and was ruled out for the rest of the season.

Dobbs is now on his fifth team since the start of the 2022 season. His success in Minnesota has been a major storyline in the NFL this season, but he has had his fair share of struggles to get to where he is today.

Joshua Dobbs Alopecia Diagnosis

Dobbs was diagnosed with alopecia areata in the third grade after discovering a small bald spot had formed on the top of his head. Alopecia is one of the most prevalent hair-loss conditions in the world, affecting approximately 2% of the population.

According to the National Institutes of Health, alopecia is a disease that happens when the immune system attacks hair follicles and causes hair loss. The condition is incurable, but there are several types of treatments that aim to accelerate the process of regenerating hair.

Dobbs’ hair loss became worse in high school, and by his senior year, his eyebrows and eyelashes began to fall out.

During his college career at the University of Tennessee, Dobbs continued to seek treatment as he received weekly cortisone shots to try to prevent the hair loss. Over time, the shots became less effective, so he eventually opted to shave his head.

MORE: Which Teams Has Joshua Dobbs Played For?

“My family has been amazing. They have done the research, so we understand the condition as best we can. They’ve also made sure I got the best care and treatment possible,” Dobbs said. “Their biggest gift was teaching me to have a positive mindset when dealing with adversity, whether it is on the football field or in other parts of my life.”

As a high-profile football player and quarterback at Tennessee, Dobbs said his experience with alopecia has been very public. While many fans were supportive, there were those who were ignorant and would try to impact his play with taunts about his hair loss.

Dobbs has been an advocate on the topic since he was in college. He met with a kid from a small town in Tennessee who was struggling to leave the house and make friends due to having alopecia.

“When we met, we were both wearing hats. When I took my hat off, I will never forget how wide his eyes got and how big his smile was,” Dobbs said. “He had never met anyone else with alopecia. Meeting me gave him confidence. It made me realize I should use my platform to help others who are going through what I went through.”

More recently, Dobbs connected with a Cardinals cheerleader who was diagnosed with alopecia shortly before trying out for Arizona’s squad.

“Anytime you see people being true to who they are, it’s great to see,” Dobbs said. “Everyone’s going through something. For us, alopecia may be a little more visually visible to outside people looking in, but everyone’s going through something.”

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