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Alopecia Areata

Posted by sehra (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 22, 07 at 9:03

Hi,

I'm 29 and in good health, according to the doctor! On Christmas my husband noticed a patch of baldness on my head, since then the patch has increased in size. The derm. has given me cortisoin(sp?) shots and I am to go back again in a few weeks for more shots. Since then several other patches have appeared.

From the research I have done there is no real cause and no real cure for this, however I have read many articles saying that stress may be the cause of this. Nothing has happened in my life to cause me more stress. Regardless I have been working out for the past 2 weeks, taking a multivitamin and eating much better in hopes that this would help. I understand it would take about 3 months before I see results and even if the new patches grow in, new ones may form.

Has anyone dealt with this? Can you tell me your story? What did you do and how did you cover it up? I would appreciate any help or advice you can offer.

Thank You


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Alopecia Areata

I wish that I could offer you more info or help, but I cant. My mother developed this condition when she was 45 yrs. old, (I was 5 yrs. old then) and died 10 years later still afflicted with this autoimmune disease. She too went to the dermatologist for years and years to receive cortisone injections, which obviously never worked. I find it hard to believe that they are still offering the same type of therapy as they did over 45 years ago.
She dealt with it by wearing a wig, from the time she got up till she went to bed. I dont know how she did this, especially in the hot summertime. This disease has haunted me my whole life. I assumed that this gene was passed on to me, and at 45 I too would develop this condition. I am 52, and so far this hasnt happened (thank you God).
What I do recall however is that princess Caroline of Monaco, also had this happen to her years ago. (She wore a lot of fancy turbines for a while). I believe that it took a few years for her hair to return to normal, and she has not had a relapse as of yet I think.
Youre so young to have this happen to you. I sincerely wish you a fast recovery, as the emotional aspects of living with hair loss can be challenging, to say the least.


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RE: Alopecia Areata

Sehra, have you been checked for lupus?? Our little Granddaughter, only 6 yrs old had a little bald spot around Halloween, now about a third of her hair is gone from her crown to hairline. She's been to several doctors, just yesterday to Nemours Hospital in Penscola. Hair loss is only one sign of lupus, seems she doesn't have the other symptoms. This is a very stressful situation for all of us. I noticed her little arms the other day, not a hair on them or on her legs.
what I've read says that 40% of the time hair won't grow back. She has thick,thick red hair!!
Leda


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RE: Alopecia Areata

just wanted to share my story with alopecia. i was 24 when i got it. at first i thought i had cancer and then the dr. told me it was this and i am now 47. the first couple years it was devasting to me. i didn't want to go anywhere and when i did i wore a bandana because we couldn't afford a wig. i almost always have my hair loss episodes in feb. which to this day i hate that month! some years are bad hada 5 year break from losing any hair at all and then all of a sudden one feb. morning woke up with bald spots. it seems like i'll have a real loss of alot of hair and then the next couple years its only a few small spots. i knew someone else that had at the same time when i did and she took the cortizone shots, i didn't. guess what my hair grew back about the same time hers did. I have never gotten the shots and it takes my hair about 3 months to start growing back in. the first years are the hardest on your self asteem but after dealing with this for about 5 years i just decided to tell people hey if you see a bald spot don't freak out I have this hair disease and would explain and feel fine about it. i still will ask my husband if i have any spots showing and some days i'll wear a hat. i also believe in b vitamins. i take b complex and b6 and i think avocados are a really good food source for this. take it from someone who has dealt with this for twenty years, it could be worse. i know not everyones experience with this is the same but for me i know that my hair will grow back and usually comes in grey and you know what grey hair is... hair and you can dye it if you don't like it. i never dye my hair when i have the outbreak just never have but when it came in, here comes the dye! i sympathize with you all esp. the kids because kids can be so cruel. that is one reason why i tell people what i have so that more people can understand and instead of gawking at us maybe they can explain it to their kids so they can understand too. by the way they told me it was caused by stress too and some years i have had alot of stress and hair loss. i also have had alot of stress with no hair loss. so to me it is a mystery. take care and just hold your head high and smile... and know one will see your loss and if they do just smile anyway.


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RE: Alopecia Areata

A few years ago, my hairstylist discovered a small bald patch on my head that my dermotologist disgnosed as stress-realted A.A. He gave me some lotion (cortisone, perhaps)to apply to the area, and the hair grew back in a few months. I was even allowed to continue coloring my hair during this time!

The Doc told me that A.A. usually is caused by stress, and the hair usually grows back in adults. The sad thing is, he says that he has been seeing more and more children with A.A, and that most of the time in their cases, it doesn't grow back.


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RE: Alopecia Areata

I'm really glad I found this forum. I'm 56, post-menopausal, and I have had lots of stress in my life and dealt with it and NOT experienced hair loss. However, in February of 08 I suddenly lost all my hair within a 2 week period followed by the rest of my body hair shortly thereafter. Wigs are uncomfortable. I'm tired of surfing the web for information on aa, it's disheartening to hear that there is no prognosis and no diagnosis. The cortizone shots did no good at all. The doctors are stumped. My nurse practitioner told me that autoimmune diseases and the brain are the last two uncharted frontiers in medicine now. I'm now searching for alternative medicine therapies now. It's good to read the other stories and know there are others in the 2% of folks that have alopecia universalis...


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RE: Alopecia Areata

My nephew (now 35 years old) got alopecia when he was 16. He had thick red hair too. He started losing it in patches and doc put him on cortisone and some type of pills (not sure if they were cortisone pills or what). The pills didn't do anything and after almost a year, he stopped taking it. They paid $2,500 for a wig. He wore it for awhile. The first time his friends seen his bald head, they thought he had gotten drunk and passed out and someone had shaved his head. He told them about his disease, and that was that! He's never worn his wig since. It would be much harder if a female had this, because males are more commonly known to go around with a bald head anyways.

He has no hair on his head, arms, legs, etc., not even eyebrows.

Doc explained that his immune system is so strong that it killed all his hair follicles. Another thing, he's 35 now and has only had a cold/flu once in his entire life!

Cortisone has many side effects too.


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RE: Alopecia Areata Fix!

I am a 24 y.o. female who has been dealing with alopecia since I was about 12. It started with one dime sized bald spot and progressed to much larger spots. I even lost my hair in large sections. At it's worst I had tried a wig but that only lasted about two days since it was so uncomfortable! I became an expert at wearing my hair in certain ways to cover up every spot. I used to use a colored spray for hair that matched my hair color to make the spots less noticeable. My mother would drive me from doc to doc trying to figure out what I could do to fix the problem. I tried seeing a nutritionist, an herbalist, dermatologist after dermatologist... it was awful! Nothing seemed to work. I had just about given up. One day my mom had stumbled upon a website for a company based out of Germany that makes shampoos and products for hair loss. They claimed it helped with alopecia and it's called Thymuskin Shampoo. Though it's very expensive she bought it for me to try. Within about a months time I noticed that the amount of hair that came out in the shower was far less. My spots began growing back as well. Since then I have only had one or two spots randomly that always grow back. I have a full head of hair and it's all mine! I am convinced this shampoo/product line has done the trick! I've always wanted to spread the word to others suffering from Alopecia about my fabulous success with this product in hopes that it will help others. It's been about 6 years now that I've been using this product and my hair has been beautiful and healthy! I strongly urge any of you suffering from alopecia to give it a try. It has changed my life for sure. Visit the website at www.thymuskinshampoo.com to learn about it and purchase it. I hope this helps someone!


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RE: Alopecia Areata

I have a girlfriend that struggles with this disease. And it is heart breaking to see the pain in her face, she rather leaves the house.

I will tell her about this product, funny it hasn't made headlines or at least made it on 20/20 or some other news program.

Lehebert I hope you are for real. And if so, thank you and much success to you.


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RE: Alopecia Areata pt.2

She rarely leaves the house, I meant to say.


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RE: Alopecia Areata

I've almost kicked this... but i'll start from the beginning. I got 2 spots on my crown.. one of course is offset to left enough to look very un-natural. Along with the very defined thick hair around the left top spot it's pretty bizarre looking and if i go hat-less I get asked what's going on with my hair. I've been asked if I have aids which really isn't fun. I'm 35 and started noticing it after a bad breakup i had not to mention i have a pretty tough job. I got it diagnosed as maybe a fungus, maybe alopecia, maybe... he didn't know and found out later he was just a p.a. But I highly recommend that anyone get multiple opinions and find a doctor that has had success with people with alopcecia areata (totalis, etc).
Here's what Dr. Iden in corpus christi did with me. We took a byopsy to verify which came back a.a. and mpb. He began by giving me 2 shots of hardcore anti-inflammatories to relieve tension on the follicles. I was already taking propecia which anyone with alopecia should be taking from the beginning. I then began applying Clobex spray in the mornings and evenings at bedtime for 2 weeks. The clobex spray is very very strong and I actually used it for 2.5 weeks out of excitement of curing the problem. After that I tapered off of the spray to the Clobex shampoo which is much weaker. I use the shampoo on the weekends and i use a betamethasone lotion on the areas once during the work week. His approach was to hammer the area with topical steriods. He has seen some success with inter-lesional injections but much better results with an anti-inflammatory shot and high powered topical steroids.
One thing he's told me during the follow-ups is that he thinks he'd seen more people with my results if they did exactly what was prescribed, but they always confessed later that they forgot or missed applications due to one reason or another... usually starting to see results and thought it was cured too early was a big one.
Now that it's growing back, I'm going to get transplantation in those areas that are still thin and continue using the shampoo on the weekends most likely forever to ensure it doesn't happen again. I hope that helps.


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RE: Alopecia Areata

I am 28 years old and living with Alopecia Areata for the past year and a half. I remember the first time I found my bald spot, it was April 1st 2007 Aprils Fools Day. My friend actually found it during her visit when she was blow drying my hair. I vividly remember freaking out as I saw the quarter size spot in the mirror. I panicked and searched the internet for an answer. I had recently started new birth control pills and was convinced that was the culprit, so I immediately stopped them and scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist. To make matters worse, I was living by myself in Chicago because I was going to school for my doctorate in psychology, all my family and friends were in New York, I had no health insurance, worked part time and was living off of my school loan money.

When I saw the dermatologist she told me it was Alopecia Areata (A.A) and gave me cortisone shots that hurt like HELL!!!! I cried in her office, in my car on the way home, and for the next several weeks. I became obsessed with monitoring the spot and would check multiple times a day. I soon began to see other spots in the same area and freaked out again. The more I tried to relax and get my mind off of the A.A the more stressed I became. I made my monthly visits to the dermatologist who charged me a discount rate of $100 dollars. I searched the internet and tried to find any type of cure or alternative medicine. I started acupuncture, took a whole bunch of herbal supplements, and ate healthier. After 2 months, I was less anxious because I saw some hair regrowth. But I still had to be creative with my hair styles to hide my bald spots. After 3 months I finished school and moved back to New York.

I thought this was going to "cure" my A.A. because I would be back home in my comfort zone. Of course, I was wrong, and my A.A was stronger than ever. I tired an oil based hair tonic, but that didnt help, it just made my hair greasy and knotty. I finally had health insurance through a new job and didnt waste any time finding a dermatologist in New York City. I continued with the acupuncture and herbal supplements but after a while I could no longer afford it because acupuncture was not covered through my insurance. After several months, I noticed that I was generally less anxious and stressed out and didnt really worry about the spots as much. I would still find new spots where I parted my hair, but I just covered them by using black eyebrow pencil. But the good news is that the big spots were virtually covered with short hair. I continued my internet search of herbal remedies and made several trips to Whole Foods (Natural/Organic supermarket). I did find something called Helminthic therapy for inflammation, which is essentially what A.A. is, an inflammation of the hair follicle which is being attacked by the white blood cells in our body. Anyway, its premise is to ingest a parasite or worm in the body so it can fight off the inflammation. It all sounds gross to me, so I canned that idea. I also found on the internet an A.A pill called Ban Tu Wan which is sold in Chinese herbal stores. I am going to try this pill and see what happens. Has anyone heard of it or tried it?


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RE: Alopecia Areata

Sehra,have you had your thyroid checked? I asked because I too started getting bald spots(size of half dollars and eventually half of my hair). The doctor said I had alopecia and I went home and cried and than ordered 3 wigs. I couldn't stand wearing them so I just stayed home alot. Finally,I had other symptoms that caused me to go to another doctor and she found out I had low thyroid. It took awhile(months)before the thyroid got back to somewhat normal and slowly but surely the hair came back.

After a couple of years of having hair and feeling better it started up again with hair loss. I was devastated but went back and got an adjustment in my meds and my hair came back.

I hope that this could be the same for you as losing our hair is not fun. Good Luck to you.


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RE: Alopecia Areata

When I was in my late 20s I developed several quarter-size bald spots on the crown of my head and one pea-size one in my left eyebrow. Simultaneously, my third child, who was 17 months old at the time, developed two bald spots on his head. It was one of the happiest, most peaceful times of my life, and this son was the calmest of all six of my babies, yet we both developed AA simultaneously.

Within a year hair had regrown in all the bald spots on both our heads. However, my left eyebrow still has a pea-size bald spot 35 years later, and one patch of my son's hair regrew without color. When he was born he was a towhead, but by the time his AA developed his hair had become very dark brown, like mine. Ever since his AA, he has had a small white patch of hair on his head.

Sherry


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RE: Alopecia Areata

I've had alopecia areata many times since I was 10 years old--- I'm now 43.

Each time I now start to get a bald spot, my doctor injects cortizone around the perimeter of the spot, and within a month or so the hair starts to regrow.

Been doing this since college--- went to doctor, then referred to an endocrinologist who could find nothing wrong. Endocrinologist suggested cortizone shots, which worked. The theory being that the hair follicles become enflamed, and the cortizone calmes the inflammation.

I've been doing this ever since every year or so when a new spot turns up. Never failed yet.


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RE: Alopecia Areata

I've read that one of the side effects of using Clobex spray is hair LOSS. Then I read that doctors prescribe it for REGROWING hair that's been lost from alopecia. I'm confused, hair loss or hair regrowth, which is it?


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RE: Alopecia Areata

An endocrinologist is the specialist dr. you should see. It's got to do with your immune system and you need to look in to that to find out if there is any malfunction in your system. As stated above, thyroid problems are huge on the list and most dr's go by TSH values that are no longer valid.


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RE: Alopecia Areata

The only way to get to the real root cause of your alopecia is to visit an Ayurvedic Acupuncturist. I was lucky enough to go to one when I discovered a 2 inch bald spot on my head. He ran a series of tests (with the help of vials and a machine to test hormone allergies). He quickly figured out that I had an 'allergy' to sugar, cortisol, and insulin.. all of these were causing stress on my 'kidneys, pancreas, and gall bladder' which in turn was throwing of my hormones (specifically my progesterone levels). Roger (my acupuncturist) also told me that if you have an allergy to 'sugar' your body can't absorb and process Vitamin b12 correctly which can also cause all types of problems. There are hundreds of different reasons behind alopecia (you won't get real answers from a medical doctor unless they run hundreds of tests!) See: http://www.naet.com/ and http://www.americanpoweryoga.com/the-studio/therapy-services/acupuncture/


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RE: Alopecia Areata

The only way to get to the real root cause of your alopecia is to visit an Ayurvedic Acupuncturist. I was lucky enough to go to one when I discovered a 2 inch bald spot on my head. He ran a series of tests (with the help of vials and a machine to test hormone allergies). He quickly figured out that I had an 'allergy' to sugar, cortisol, and insulin.. all of these were causing stress on my 'kidneys, pancreas, and gall bladder' which in turn was throwing of my hormones (specifically my progesterone levels). Roger (my acupuncturist) also told me that if you have an allergy to 'sugar' your body can't absorb and process Vitamin b12 correctly which can also cause all types of problems. There are hundreds of different reasons behind alopecia (you won't get real answers from a medical doctor unless they run hundreds of tests!) See: http://www.naet.com/ and http://www.americanpoweryoga.com/the-studio/therapy-services/acupuncture/


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RE: Alopecia Areata

Alopecia can be caused and probably is by a mineral deficiency of Biotin, copper, cobalt, inositol, zinc also vitamin B-2, B-5,B-6,and vitamin E
Alopecia is not a deficiency of drugs!!!
But doctors think the answer to anything is more drugs and it dose not work look at their sucess rate.


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