A 22-year-old female presents to a dermatologist concerned about the formation of several bald spots on her scalp that have developed over the last 6 weeks. She denies any past medical history; however, she reports a family history of a similar hair loss pattern in her maternal uncle. Physical examination reveals the patient's scalp as shown in Figure A. The patient asks her physician about the prognosis of this disease. Which of the following statements is true about this patient's presenting condition?