hair falling out due to alopecia, need a friendly chat and some advice please :)

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hi, im 24 years old and i've been suffering with alopecia for about 4 months. it first started with a bald patch the size of a 50 pence piece. i went to the doc who diagnosed it as a fungal infection, she assured me it would grow back. it didnt, it just got bigger. i saw a different doc who diagnosed me with alopecia areata, he ran some blood tests on me, everything was clear apart from i was lacking in vitamin D and vitamin B12. I am now on tablets for this. my doc told told me my hair loss could be due to my B12 deficiency and maybe the tablets i had to take would stop it falling out. its been six weeks now and my hair is coming out even more! i only have to run my hand through my hair and i have about 10 - 15 strands on my hand. my bald patch is at the back of my head and its about 3 inches wide and 2 inches high but is not noticeable if my hair is down or if i tie it to the side in a bun. i am grateful that its not as noticeable as some peoples but its causing me a huge amount of distress. i have always had very thick, long hair since i was young but now its very thin and flimsy! my doctor refused to give me anything for it, just told me to keep an eye on it but its got considerably bigger than when he first saw it. im going back to the doctors this week, should i demand to see a specialist or should i ask for cream or any other medication for it? im at my wits end at the moment, this has really knocked my confidence and i didnt have a lot to begin with! i think about it 80% of the time that im awake and when im lying in bed at night, my mind is racing which makes it difficult to sleep. my parents have been very supportive, but i think i would like to speak with a fellow sufferer who knows what im going through, how i feel, and could maybe give me some advice on how to cope with this condition. thank you x

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  • Posted

    Hi Alexandra

    Just thought I would post as I'm a 23 year old girl who has been suffering on and off with alopecia for about 5 years, so I know how it feels and how scary and worrying it can be!

    Mine started as one patch at the back of my head about the size of a 50p, and it gradually got bigger and more patches started developing. My doc put it down to stress and after about a year it did all grow back (thank god), but I've had this on and off like I said for 5 years now.

    More recently, I changed from my very stressful job in a bank to a very relaxed job and literally as soon as I changed my job, my hair grew back! The worst thing you can do is worry about your hair because as cruel as it is, this will only make it worse. Be assured though that mine grew back although it did take a while, and I'm sure yours will too!

    More recently though I have noticed the hair at the back of my hair (nape of neck) and around my hair almost like receding. I've been back to the docs again and they've sent me for more blood tests but unfortunately, there's nothing they can do. I'm confused though because I'm not stressed and I'm so worried that this is going to spread across my whole scalp and I'll end up bald. I have googled this type of hair loss and is called 'ophiasis', a form of alopecia areata. Has anyone else suffered with this? I'd love to hear from anyone going through a similar thing, just for a bit of peace of mind I'm not the only one! I'm hoping my hair will grow back like the last few times but I've never had hair loss in this way before where it almost recedes!

    Thanks x

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    • Posted

      Hi Vanessa, 

      I know you wrote this post over a year ago but I am just wondering how your hair is? I have Ophiasis and unfortunately it is spreading to my crown. I can just about cover it at the moment but I'm scared that it's going to get worse. Did yours grow back?

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  • Posted

    Hi Cheery-one

    Thanks for replying smile I do have long hair but I never have worn it up. I did read about traction alopecia but I've never worn it up at all so I'm sure it can't be that.

    Vanessa x

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  • Posted

    Hi Vanessa

    Have you done anything different recently? Put any products onto your face,skin, scalp? Been scratching at the area?

    Shan

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  • Posted

    Hi Shan

    Nothing too different that I can think of! I do get eczema frequently though so my skin can get irritated easily, and I have used different shampoos. Sometimes the area can feel a bit tender so maybe it could be some sort of allergic reaction?

    If my blood test comes back clear I might try changing to a simple shampoo and seeing if that helps.

    Vanessa x

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  • Posted

    Hi Vanessea, I think you've hit the nail on the head. People of a sensitive nature usually are also sensitive in other ways too......such as allergies and intollerances with products and food and chemicals....etc. The best way to tackle all this is to use products that dont have all the harming chemicals and additives in them......such as using 'Faith In Nature' Rosemary shampoo and the conditioner. You will only find these in a health shop. Rosemary helps regrowth of hair.

    Also using a dark colour on the hair has a common allergic reaction.

    Relaxation methods will be an added bonus to reduce or elliminate stress......perhaps reviewing what else is going on in and around your life.

    By sorting out these issues from the outside and also from the inside.....things then usually resolve themselves eventually.

    Shan

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  • Posted

    Hi Shan

    Thanks for your help!

    I will try the rosemary shampoo and conditioner and see if that helps. I'm feeling positive that it will grow back as it has done before with patches but its just worrying that its a different pattern of hair loss.

    Anyway, I'll follow your advice and let you know if it works, thanks again.

    Vanessa x

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  • Posted

    Hi Vanessa!

    What you just described is exactly what my hair is like! It started off as a small patch about the size of a 50p and now I'm completely bald where the nape of my neck is. If you send me your email address in a message, I will send you a picture of what mine looks like x

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  • Posted

    Hi Alexandra

    That sounds like the same as me! Ill send you my email address in a message now, it's good knowing you're not alone! Have you been to see a doctor or specialist about it and if so what did they say?

    Vanessa x

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Hope everyone is okay. I had been thinking of things that could have caused my hair to fall out as the specialist said a shock can cause it then last night I was talking to a friend about an investigation I had at the hospital in September, where they tried to do it without pain killer! Anyway the pain they put me through actually made my body go into shock, I was white and could not stop shaking and couldn't walk, they were giving me sugar to bring my blood sugars back up. Eventually had the investigation under anaesthetic with no problems but I'm thinking that this shock is what brought my hair loss on. Shan said to think back but I couldn't at the time. Has anybody else been through something they think could have brought it on?

    Bev x

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  • Posted

    Hi Bev, just read your message......although you could be right....and shock can cause hair to fall out, like mine did.....however, in your case, the patch is itchy, red and inflamed. I really think that you should be concentrating on reducing the reaction as it could scar....and then NO hair will grow on scar tissue, EVER. I believe in your case, it could well be the red/brown hair colour that has caused a reaction on your scalp initially....and then when patches appear....this on its own causes stress and anxiety....which may make things worse for a while.

    Shan

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  • Posted

    Hi Shan,

    Thanks for your reply. Yes it was itchy, red and inflamed while it was falling out (think i made it worse scratching it in my sleep) The redness has gone now and the specialist said there was no scarring. The tiny black hairs that are growing back are only growing round the edge though, there is nothing in the middle! Strange as it may sound when it first happened I used to worry about it all the time and wake up a lot in night in case I was scratching but now have learnt to live with it and got used to the idea to an extent I find I don't worry as much and now the tiny hairs have appeared.

    Thanks

    Bev x

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  • Posted

    Hi Bev

    Sounds like maybe it was that incident then that caused it all. I was really stressed a year ago when mine starting falling out and I'm sure it was that because as soon as I got a new job, it grew back, but it hasn't seemed to grow back at the back by my neck and has got worse around my ears so I have no idea what's caused this now because I'm no longer stressed!

    I'm taking some vitamins and I'm going to change my shampoo to see if that helps! Fingers crossed for us all smile

    Vanessa x

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  • Posted

    Hi Alexandra,

    I suffered exactly the same thing, and it terrified me as I thought I had started to go bald - and the patch was on the front of my head, about the same size as you described, so very visible. I went to a dermatologist and he also asked me whether I was under some stress etc etc, and then decided it was alopecia. He prescribed me a medicine from the Regaine brand (I was sceptical) but after some days I noticed some specks of hair coming through on the skin; it took a few weeks, but now it's back to normal.

    That said, it re-occurred a couple of times since; about a year later on my head, but in a different position - I bought the same medicine again, and it worked again. Since then, it has occasionally re-occurred (smaller patches, though) on my face and I could see a bald patch in my stubble (yes, I'm a guy :-))) When it happened in my beard area - and it's happened fairly regularly, I'd said once a year since the first outbreak about 3 years ago - I never applied the medicine and it seemed to go away through its own accord.

    Now I know that I am not going bald (as least not yet smile and I'm much more relaxed about it - which seems to help a lot as it now re-occurs much less often, and even when it does - the patches are much smaller and go away quicker.

    All that said - I know how you feel, and I know its easy for people to say 'Relax! Don't be stressed!' - but when this happens to you - it's not easy to be relaxed about it! You're young, and you're doctors are right to point out the need of a healthy diet to get all the vitamins your body needs - so you WILL be ok, I put my money on it :-)

    Keep smiling :-)

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