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I have suffered from alopecia areata for most of my life. Aged twelve I lost all my hair, eyebrows, eyelashes and body hair. After 3 years my hair grew back. No sign of eyelashes, brows or (small consolation) leg hair. Girls in the same position, eyeliner can be used to good effect for the eyelashes and if you go to a decent beauty salon then semi permanent make up has proved an absolute blessing in the form of new eyebrows. No more getting out of the swimming pool to find my pencilled eyebrows have remained in the water!!
Over the years I have had many new patches and phases of varying severity, I think I can relate it to stress, and when it happens I know, as I feel a strange tingling feeling in my scalp. As though small creatures are running through my hair, and sure enough out it comes.
At the moment I am going through a pretty bad patch, I look as though I am having some kind of chemotherapy! However the thought of wearing a wig is more horrific than not, and so I persevere as best as I can. The condition is so frustrating and really brings you down, many days I really don't want to get out of bed, don't want to see anyone and certainly don't want anyone near me with a camera. Normally I am confident and outgoing but whenever I have bald patches I feel my confidence disappear.
The things that keep me going are that I have a lovely family and friends who will still love me whether I have hair or not, and that every time before my hair has eventually re grown, (even when I was told it probably wouldn't). So despite feeling desolate and desperate every time I wash my hair or run my fingers through it, I try to put on a brave face and get on with things. As for cures I have tried most of them, Dermovate, injections, Dithro cream, protopic, hypnosis. The most successful was UV light treatment which I had 9 years ago.
It is true that until you have this you don't really know what it is like or just how much it knocks your whole persona and confidence. I also think that it is just as bad for men as for women, the only advantage is that bald men are seen as more visually acceptable than bald women, but if you are the chap removing clumps of hair from the plug hole each day then you will feel little consolation from that fact.
Finally to end on to all the people who say that "It is only your hair" ask them how they would like to shave their head and walk into a room full of strangers, I don't think there would be many takers!!
[i:ca14f313a3]This message was automatically imported from the original Patient Experience[/i:ca14f313a3]
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