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Hi all, I am a 19 year old male currently battling a severe scalp itch and relatively sudden hair loss.
My hair and scalp were comparatively healthy throughout high school. Rarely itched and no dandruff. This nightmare started maybe about 1.5 years ago at the end of high school when I first noticed these small red bumps around my right temple area. Sometimes, picking at these bumps would cause otherwise healthy hairs around my hairline to pop out along with a small amount of fluid. Back then, recall looking at the hair around my right temple at one point and finding all of these white scales there. I was surprised by how dry/scaly/shiny my scalp in that area had become. The scaliness isn't that much of an issue anymore - I think proper washing techniques have certainly fixed that issue - but my hair continues to grow thinner around my right temple.
Not long after that that the itch began. It got really bad in my second year of university, which I recently completed. Some nights, I would violently scratch and scratch at my head, only to wake up in shock to a pillow of 20 otherwise healthy hairs strewn about. I've tried some techniques to deal with this - including wearing mittens at night to avoid scarring on my scalp - but nothing has really worked thus far. Weirdly, after showering in the moring, the itch would stop. But later on in the evening, it would return. I could go the whole morning and afternoon without itching, only to literally be overcome by an unbearable scalp itch while simply sitting down and studying at night. As the semester progressed, more and more of my scalp was showing in the mirror and I grew increasingly self conciscious of my thinning hair. Stress from school certainly didn't help. This has taken a pretty huge toll on me emotionally and decreased my self confidence drastically, which was alreadly limited to begin with.
I've seen my family doctor twice regarding this issue and unfortunately he is of very little help, despite his many years of expertise. He doesn't see it as an issue. First, upon quick inspection wearing gloves, he downplayed my suggestion that I had scalp psorasis, yet prescribed me Dovobet gel to use on my scalp to help with the inflammation. I used it a little, but was hesitant to use it extensively on my hair given his quick diagnosis. When I followed up with him months later, and pointed out my thinning temple area, he brushed my condition off as "acne related" and prescribed me Ratio-Ectosone to apply to my head. I didn't use that very much, either (Perhaps I should??). I get the sense that, because it isn't his head of hair, he doesn't really care. Because I am otherwise healthy and active, we can just let this one slide. I've discussed these concerns and symptoms with my parents and they don't take me seriously either - even when my hair has visibly thinned quite substantially over the past few months. I can see more of my scalp now than ever before and it's just so distressing to me but nobody close to me seems to understand that.
I'm angry inside - this just doesn't seem normal for someone my age. I can't just accept it like everyone around me haphazardly tells me to.
The thing is, I've noticed that my scalp appears somewhat inflamed. There are faint pink spots all around my frontal hairline. I have always been under the impression that a healthy scalp is more of a cream/white. And I've noticed a clear and undeniable pattern - when red, acne-like spots appear along my right temporal hairline, the hair there eventally thins and dies off.
My hair is continuing to thin on an otherwise healthy head of hair. Genetically, my father and his father have fantastic heads of hair. My dad specifically is 54 years old and has no thinning whatsoever. He has followed a simple routine of a fast, daily shower with Pert Plus for the past 20 years and I am honestly growing more and more jealous of his hair. My mother's father went bald in his 50s, though I never met him. My hair is so very important to me - especially at this age, when everyone is concerned about looks. It sounds obsessive, I know, and some might classify this as body dysmorphia - but that is a separate issue that I will address after this one.
Lastly, I'll include details about my daily life that may be crucial to understanding this problem. I have battled pretty bad facial acne for years, mostly along my forehead and nose. I've had many ups and downs with this - periods of relatively very clear skin and periods where much of my forehead and chin are red and inflamed with acne. Unfortunatley, I'm going through one of those periods again now. In high-school, my family doctor prescribed me Benzaclin for my forehead acne, and it really helped clear it up for a year or two. However, my acne eventually came back with a vengeance in university, so I haven't really bothered to ask for another prescription since. Over the years, I've noticed that poor sleeping habits, as well as oily/dairy foods really contribute to my flare-ups. I'm really hoping that whatever intsense hormonal changes that are cause me to despise my face finish up soon as I enter my 20s and - hopeully - finish up puberty.
Currently I wash my forehead 2-3 a day with various natural soaps and other chemical clelansers. My face skin gets oily very fast - by the end of the day, say at work, it is visibly oily unless I wipe it with papertowel or face wipe. I wash my hair every morning too - I switch between various expensive herbal shampoos, to natural bar soaps, to more synthetic shampoos just to keep my scalp guessing.
At its worst, I used H&S shampoo almost daily and that seemed to help with the flakes and somewhat with the daytime itching - but it definitely didn't cure the intense nightime scalp itches.
These days, the night itch comes and goes - I find that if I exercise and sweat a lot in the evening, then take a warm shower (ON TOP OF the shower I take in the morning) with some light bar shampoo - I don't scratch as much, and I don't find as many hairs/flakes on my pillow in the morning. Like my face, my hair gets greasy fast - can't go outside once I've woken up until I've taken a shower or it doesn't look presentable to me.
I've documented all these observations in a daily "hair log," including which shampoo I've used for the day, how much I've exercised, etc. to help me tackle this condition better.
What could this be? Can I halt it now before I loose much more hair? What can I do about it? Should I get a referral to a dermatolgist while I still have time this summer? I've attached a picture to help you get a better sense of my condition. In it, you can see the thin hair along my right temple in addition to the small red bumps I am referring to. If you could please recommed me a rountine to follow to make my scalp and hair healthy again, I would deeply appreciate it. There have been many occasions where I have been so depressed over this issue, and I could sure use the advice of anyone willing to help me out with this.
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