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View Full Version : Does anyone have alopecia areata?



iwonder
July 12th, 2010, 10:47 PM
First let me start off by saying that I'm new here and this might be off topic and shocking to some, I apologize in advance if this offends you. I have long hair about to the middle of my back and have been thinking about cutting it since my hair falls out in small round patches. I would like you advice as to what you'd do about your hair if you were in my position. To cut or not? Also I am not sure what my hair type is. I have fine,dark straight-ish hair. Thank you!

tinker bug
July 12th, 2010, 10:59 PM
If I remember right, one of our members PurdyBear has alopecia and she's recently been able to grow. You might want to ask her exactly what she's been doing :flower:

Diamondbell
July 13th, 2010, 01:57 AM
Not shocking at all. I am sorry you are going through this. I don't know why this is happening but would like to know too, since two people known to me have this: hair shedding and loss of eye lashes and eyebrows. I guess this is alopaecia areata as well (I am not a doctor/ just guessing). I wish I knew the solution for this.

It looks like herbs such as amla, brahmi and bhringraj are good for this condition
http://ezinearticles.com/?Baldness-(Alopecia)-and-Alopecia-Areata---Ayurvedic-Herbal-Treatment&id=1229504

Hope this condition improves :flower:

Purdy Bear
July 13th, 2010, 02:34 AM
If I remember right, one of our members PurdyBear has alopecia and she's recently been able to grow. You might want to ask her exactly what she's been doing :flower:


Yes I do have Alopecia, it began with Areata and progressed into Univarlis, I have now regrowth (although patchy) for the first time in 6 years.


Hi I Wonder:

Really BIGGGGGGGGG HUGGGGGGGGSSSSS to you.

The first thing I would do is to get the patches checked by a Dr or a Dermatologist. There can be a few reasons for patchy hair loss, so a correct diagnosis is a must. Some of the conditions are easily treatable, plus if it is Alopecia Areata you the sooner you get treatment the better.

The only thing about length you need worry about is the weight of hair. The Dermatologist said probably not to go past waist length for me, but I had very very thick heavy hair. I wouldnt cut until you have the patches checked and then only if you want to - dont be pressured into it. I had APL/BSL for years and it never effected the Alopecia.

As far as treatments are concerned, the Dermatolgist can give injections into the scalp which stimulates the hair growth.

There are lots and lots of things out there to try. Im going down the alternative remedy route but I have found these have worked for me:

Meditation
Visualisation of growing hair
Relaxation techniques
Balayam (hand nail rubbing)
Hot flannel compresses to the affected area (just like you would for a sprain/strain)
Biotin rich foods eatten daily (Swiss Chard, Bananas etc)
Also Iron rich foods ever day ( Spinach, Cabbage etc).
You may wish to add the onion family as well.

At present me and an online friend are going down the route that it is a Candidas type problem, as the anti fungal creams seem to work for it. Look up the thread for Monistat Cream.

For Forum information the LHC is the best Iv found, the Alopecia ones dont give much information at all.

I would take regular photos of your patches and keep a good eye on them, so you can see if they get smaller. The hair grows back white first and then turns back to its natural colour (look up Gail Porter, although her hair went from blonde to brunette on regrowth).

Most Alopecia Areata will grow back, I feel mine went into Univarlis due to stress and bad nutrition.

You may wish to look up Aromatherphy as well as this seems to have a very good result (look for the Aberdeen Aromatherphy Study, and Melanie Von Zabuesnig - if you cant find them I have the recipes if you pm me).

I also suggest you start a hair journal and write everything down. It can take from 2 -6 months to show any difference in the hair once you start doing anything to improve its growth.

Good Luck, I hope you get your patches back ASAP.

iwonder
July 13th, 2010, 01:43 PM
Oh my God PurdyBear, someone has this besides me! I had a spot once before in 2008 then after one injection the spot grew back fine. This is my second spot it started earlier this year almost in the same location as my prior spot. I'm getting my third shot tomorrow at the dermatologist. I'm more worried this time around since the bald spot seems to be progressing faster than my last spot. I would like to exchange contact information with you if you don't mind. Do you remember having indents in your spots? I have a big one I can share photos if you like. I'm also taking Biotin and applying Rogaine for Women. Anyway, I shouldn't complain it's just one spot for now I just pray it doesn't spread further! I'm happy to hear your hair has been going well for you.

Mariah!!
July 13th, 2010, 04:56 PM
somebody on here once said that if they got cancer and they knew their hair was falling out, they would shave their hair off and make it into a wig, so that they wouldnt have to worry about it. personally, i would too, but if you were still on your growing "journey" i would do that, and then put extensions in it!! i have never heard of what it is that you have and i am too lazy to go look it up, but it sounds very hard to handle. big hugs to you!! good luck. I am so sorry you have to handle this.

Kleis
July 13th, 2010, 05:08 PM
I have alopecia areata, although I've figured out what my triggers are and usually have control over it. I lost that control last fall and lost a large patch above my ear. I have two inches of curly regrowth after a few months of baldness. I should post a pic, since one of the last pics on my journal was the bald spot.

Back when I had many small patches missing, I didn't consider cutting. (With one patch, there's no need, but I used to lose 7-8 quarter-sized patches at once. It didn't look good.) I decided to leave it long, color it in with dark eyeshadow, and focus on my personal triggers. For me, it's extreme stress.

Honestly, coloring in the patches made a huge difference. I could relax about it since I couldn't see the scalp show through. I did try different medications, like cortisone injections into the scalp and rogaine, but the best treatment was coloring it in, massaging with stimulating oils (mint, rosemary, basil, etc), and working on my stress.

Good luck!

FrannyG
July 13th, 2010, 06:39 PM
First of all, hugs to you. :grouphug: I know very well what a shock it is to suddenly notice that a patch of hair has disappeared overnight.

Secondly, there is nothing shocking to us or offensive about your post. Many of us have had to deal with this problem. You are not alone. :flower:

You've already gotten great advice, but I'll add my 2 cents.

I do not currently have alopecia areata, but I did in my 20s, and I didn't cut my hair. Cutting my hair would have only made matters worse. The hair I had hid the patches I lost very well.

You are seeing a dermatologist and getting treatment. That's all good. Hopefully your hair will grow back soon, and perhaps you'll be able to find out what your trigger is. For me, it was a sudden stressful crisis.

Hang in there. I can't think of any reason for you to cut your hair. Once your hair grows in again, it will start to blend with the rest of your hair very quickly.

I hope that once this patch grows in you are never troubled with it again. :blossom:

Purdy Bear
July 14th, 2010, 02:30 AM
Iv seen an advert for the colouring in agent. Here in the Uk its called Toppik, but that might change if your else where. Iv never used it myself, but i will if I remain patchy once Iv had regrowth.

Kleis - Id love to know your recipe for your aromatheraphy rub you used.

CavyQueen
July 14th, 2010, 09:06 PM
Hi iwonder! I know how frustrating alopecia can be. My cousin has it and looses patches of hair the size of golf balls. She gets injections in her scalp of a steroid called kenalog and her hair has begun to grow back. She sees her dermatologist every month and receives these shots. I asked her if the shots are painful and she said they just feel like a pinch. She said her scalp is a little sore and tender afterwards. Have you considered these shots? I hope this helps.

I see in one of your replies that you have already tried the shots. I'm glad your hair grew back :)

Darkhorse1
July 15th, 2010, 12:08 AM
My mom went through this due to systemic lupus and fibrmyalgia. Her doctor prescribed her rogain and something else, and it's helped with re-growth. She's keeping it shorter for her own reasons, but it's amazing at the re-growth. So, perhaps you could look into that? I know it s probably expensive and I'm not sure all drug companies cover it, but be a start?

Also, definatly get a dermatologist/doctor to diagnose you. Round patches of hair falling out immediately made me thing of ringworm (which is not a worm, but a fungus which causes circular patches of hair to fall out).

My stepsister had alopecia--lost all her hair, eyebrows, eyelashes--everything, due to stress when getting her PHd. Once completed and the stress was gone, it all grew back. I had severe shedding due to stress many moons ago, and it was the scariest thing I've seen--but when the cause of stress is eliminated, it does grow back.

Hugs to you and welcome to LHC!

eiwonob
July 15th, 2010, 12:49 AM
My mother had two spots, caused by stress, about 2,5 cm diameter each. She treated with injections and a topic lotion (I think it was some corticoid... I'm not sure), and her hair grew nice and quickly.
Lots of hugs and welcome to TLHC! :)

Tabitha
July 15th, 2010, 05:59 AM
I've had a couple of spots over the last two years, (or more accurately, the same spot that lost hair on two different occasions) caused by stress: once when my handbag was stolen and then following a bereavement.

It was right at the front, in my fringe/bangs but fortunately my hair is thick enough that I could rearrange it to cover. My scalp is dead white and my hair is quite dark so I was very concerned about the patch growing.

The first time, I was washing my fringe as I often do between shampoos, and a hunk of hair literally came out in my hand. The second time, I didn't notice when the hair fell out - being in my fringe, the strands were only a few inches long.

Both times the hair did eventually grow back without any intervention. The first time I was very worried so I did go to my GP. She took a close look with a magnifier to rule out ringworm, etc and said she would refer me to a dermatologist if it got worse or didn't grow back within a few months. The second time, I recognised what was happening and was a lot more relaxed about it and I think this helped it to grow back faster.

iwonder
July 15th, 2010, 12:54 PM
Thank you everyone for your kind words and support! Maybe I'll post a photo of my golf ball size spot. I received my third shot yesterday at the dermo and he mentioned if I'm on the fence about applying Rogaine then stop. Has rogaine helped with anyone's spots? As of now I have only one spot and never had multiple at the same time (knocks on wood). After reading the posts here I don't feel the urge to cut my hair anymore. I'll post a photo later-I also am not sure what hair type I have. It's fine and straight with a little wave. I was born with curly hair but straightened over time.

iwonder
July 15th, 2010, 01:14 PM
Sorry to post again but here is a photo I took a moment ago of my hair.http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs087.ash2/37700_138912462794372_100000268576506_313391_69491 41_n.jpg

Kleis
July 15th, 2010, 01:50 PM
Thank you everyone for your kind words and support! Maybe I'll post a photo of my golf ball size spot. I received my third shot yesterday at the dermo and he mentioned if I'm on the fence about applying Rogaine then stop. Has rogaine helped with anyone's spots? As of now I have only one spot and never had multiple at the same time (knocks on wood). After reading the posts here I don't feel the urge to cut my hair anymore. I'll post a photo later-I also am not sure what hair type I have. It's fine and straight with a little wave. I was born with curly hair but straightened over time.

Personally speaking, Rogaine never helped me. It just discolored the skin and created a kind of crusty layer that would peel off. My experience follows a pretty particular pattern, though. Hair falls out within a month of a stressful event, remains bald for 2-3 months, then starts filling in with peach fuzz shortly after. Once the peach fuzz appears, the real hair is not far behind.

This last time, I didn't treat it at all. I just noted it was there and left it alone.

And your hair is beautiful! NO need to cut.

iwonder
July 15th, 2010, 01:54 PM
Thanks Kleis! My hair feels damaged although it is all natural. My hair is thin and easily has flyways and static. I have long bangs down to my chin but have been thinking about adding more layers to my hair I currently have one layer but it's hard to tell. What do you think? Would you happen to know my hair type? In that photo I just brushed it with no products or styled.

Centaur
July 15th, 2010, 02:20 PM
Hi Iwonder,
I have androgenic alopecia with some diffuse thinning all over. Androgenic alopecia is hormonal, and have more thinning in my front and temples areas, but I have some other alopecia issues in conjunction with the androgenic alopecia.

I know how upsetting and stressful and frustrating it is to deal with hair loss.

I tried Rogaine in the past, but I grew more hair on my face than I did my head. I already had a problem with hirsutism, so Rogaine was a no go for me. The other potential problem with Rogaine is that it can be drying and irritating to the scalp. I already have scalp irritability issues, so this does not present a friendly environment in which new hairs need to grow.
I have Hypothyroidism and Insulin Resistance. This has affected my hormones, which affects hair. I am on medications for these conditions now. I am also on Spironolactone, which is a diurectic but also acts as an androgenic blocker. For the first time I can remember in my life, my hirsutism is under control!!!! I have had some hair regrowth in my temple area, which could be contributed to the Spiro and/or maybe some of the other things I am doing to encourage re-growth.
What I can tell you is that no matter what treatments you take for hair loss, it takes 3-6 months and sometimes even longer for those treatments to work.

I have heard that accupuncture has helped some people with alopecia.

Certainly, the following things can help with general hair health and therefore any form of alopecia: improving your nutrition (providing more protein and antioxidants, etc and less sugar), exercising (improves blood flow and circulation to the scalp), managing stress (which affects hormones), decreasing inflammation (improves your body's immune response to illness and decreases your body's attack on its own tissues), improving scalp condition (if you do have dandruff/seborrhea(sp?), fungus, bacteria etc problems that would keep you from having optimal environment for hair re-growth and would contribute to inflammation). Oh, yeah, proper sleep is needed too.

In my case, I am using a multiprong approach to hair loss and regrowth. I am attacking the hormone problem, taking supplements for inflammation, taking supplements for nutrients helpful to the hair and scalp (paba, b-vitamins, biotin, zinc, and more), working on my scalp issues (apple cider vinegar rinses, etc), and more general measures such as these. I am also beig more careful not to use a lot of drying and irritating hair products, and I am being more careful not to wear my hair in tight hair styles, which can contribute to traction alopecia and I think just in general inflames and pisses off our scalps.

I wish you well in your hair journey. :)

Centaur
July 15th, 2010, 08:41 PM
I have started using Amla and Bhrami powder masks a few times a week too. And I read on this forum that some people were having success with DE in stopping hair shedding, so I am going to start that soon too.

Stormphoenix
July 15th, 2010, 10:57 PM
Just so you know, thank you for starting this thread and to all who contribute. I've been worried about my thinning hair and after reading this thread, I have decided to see a dermatologist for help.

I just want to say thanks so I won't feel like such a "lurker."

Centaur
July 16th, 2010, 11:31 AM
Hi Stormphoenix,

Hopefully you can find a Dermatologist that specializes in hair loss and is responsive to your needs.

You may want to request getting some bloodwork done - check thyroid and hormones and iron & ferritin.

Examination of your scalp with hair pull tests, etc can also give the doctor a better idea of what is going on with your hair loss.

Hair loss is so frustrating. I hope you get some answers and some solutions that work for you.

onthehorizon
November 26th, 2015, 11:42 PM
I have been shedding like crazy and over the past few months.
Some friends have told me they saw a little bald spot on the back of my head.
This would only happen when I wore my hair in braids.

A few weeks ago, maybe even a month ago, I noticed a huge clump of hair had come
off in the shower. This was huge and scary but I have always shed and my hair is
so thick I never get too concerned.

Recently though I did my hair and checked the back to see if my part was straight.
I cried. A round patch of hair is missing. I think this is alopecia areata and the patch
was tender and itchy.

I learned on the internet that it is auto-immune and probably triggered by stress response.
Anyways I have been doing an elimination diet to see if my triggers are food-related.

I am off coffee, cane sugar and eggs for 3 weeks and I'll be reintroducing these foods
and monitoring my symptoms after that to see if I have a food allergy. I am already
gluten, dairy, legume and soy free. This is really irritating! What am I supposed to eat?

I have been doing Fo Ti which is a Chinese herb and I think it has helped but I'm hoping the peach fuzz
will soon turn into thick coarse strands of strong hair.

I'm also doing:

Calendula infused coconut and olive oil hair oil with peppermint, lavender and tea tree EO.
I massage the area every night.


I did a herbal hair tea wash of horsetail and licorice root with roses all over my hair.

I am applying a comfrey salve called Country Comfort Herbal Savvy in the mornings.

I spray the spot with either witch hazel or rose hydrosol to clean it in the mornings,
I rub it with a washcloth.

I've stopped wearing my hair in a pony tail to minimize tension on that part of scalp or my signature braids
because I'm embarrassed to show my little bald patch. Only loose side braid, or down.

The only products I'm using are organic and/or botanically made.

Thanks for talking about this and being brave here. I feel a little terrified that it will spread to may whole head.
I will never again wish for someone else's hair, I will be grateful for what I was given because you don't know
what you've got till it's gone... or could be taken from you.

lapushka
November 27th, 2015, 07:17 AM
Thanks for talking about this and being brave here. I feel a little terrified that it will spread to may whole head.
I will never again wish for someone else's hair, I will be grateful for what I was given because you don't know
what you've got till it's gone... or could be taken from you.

Very true!

I would not try everything all-at-once though. Seems like you are doing all sorts of things in one go. I get that you are desperate for results and regrowth, but it might actually be counterproductive to try so much at once. :flower:

Wishing you the best of luck!

Anje
November 27th, 2015, 08:14 AM
I have been shedding like crazy and over the past few months.
Some friends have told me they saw a little bald spot on the back of my head.
This would only happen when I wore my hair in braids.

A few weeks ago, maybe even a month ago, I noticed a huge clump of hair had come
off in the shower. This was huge and scary but I have always shed and my hair is
so thick I never get too concerned.

Recently though I did my hair and checked the back to see if my part was straight.
I cried. A round patch of hair is missing. I think this is alopecia areata and the patch
was tender and itchy.


"Tender and itchy" is NOT normal for alopecia areata. Go get a doctor to look at it ASAP. Ringworm (actually a fungal infection) is a possibility that will cause round patches of hairloss that are irritated, and you should rule it out before assuming you've got AA, because it is contagious and it spreads. It's also pretty easily treated with prescriptions.

onthehorizon
December 2nd, 2015, 01:44 PM
Thanks for your input. The itching and tenderness is gone but I did read an article from Harvard Health Guide which describes some of the symptoms as matching my itchy and sore ones where there was been hair loss.

Sarahlabyrinth
December 2nd, 2015, 01:57 PM
It's best if you go and see a professional about this rather than trying to diagnose it yourself. Best wishes in solving the problem and for lots of quick new growth for you :)