Alopecia Areata?

@breepeace (3027)
May 29, 2007 12:13am CST
I was sitting at my desk at work today when suddenly my scalp seemed itchy so I reached up to scratch it, and to my astonishment, there seemed to be an egg sized spot over my right ear with no hair on it. Thinking I was cracking up, I rushed to the bathroom, lifted up my hair and peeked and sure enough there was a huge bald spot underneath my hair. It was smooth, completely hairless and very soft. I flipped, ran into my boss' office and showed her, went outside for a smoke and started hyperventilating. My hair is my crowning glory, I get more compliments on it than anything else about me and here I have this only partially hidden bald spot. I called my boyfriend and he calmed me down enough to return to work. I went to the doctor right after work, and he assured me not to panic, that's it's a disorder called alopecia areata that is fairly common in people my age, and that the chances of the patch regrowing are 'excellent', although nothing can be guaranteed. I guess it was a bit of reassurance, but I'm still nervous, especially after looking up the disorder myself and seeing that the growth can spread, other patches can appear or the hair may regrow white. It sounds like in some cases, this may get worse before it gets better. I'm sort of curious, my doctor says there are really no known causes for this, just that it's thought to be an autoimmune disease where the body mistakenly treats it's hair follicles as foreign tissue and stops or suppresses hair growth, but he says it could be caused to periods of extreme duress, strain or stress, which I am definitely currently experiencing. Anyone else notice a link between a period of great stress and losing their hair? Also anyone with alopecia have any suggestions for supplementation or homeopathic treatments to speed up hair growth? I'm not grooving on the idea of cortisone shots to my head and my doctor says that because it's a cosmetic treatment, my insurance won't cover it, but I'd like to try something to speed up the growth or else I'm S.O.L. for wearing my hair in an updo at my sister's wedding in September. I'm really interested in talking to other people who have, or have experience with this disorder since I'm still kind of freaked out that at 23, I'm losing hair when there's no history of hair loss in my family.
1 person likes this
2 responses
@jerryn (818)
• United States
30 May 07
I think you should get a second opinion. 23 is very young to be losing hair. I experienced losing my hair because of chemotherapy last year and it's now growing back and of course I'm way older than 23. My point is, my hair is short but the scalp is covered with hair. So that's why I say you should get a second opinion about your hair loss. You're right a woman's hair is her glory. My mom is 75 years old and her hair is just starting to thin out. We think it's because of the many medications she's own. Best of luck to you my friend. Keep me posted if you get that second opinion.
@breepeace (3027)
• Canada
30 May 07
I'm getting bloodwork done on Sunday to rule out thyroid or deficiencies, but alopecia can affect anyone of any age.. even children.
• India
31 Oct 11
Thank you so much for sharing in details, it will help many women who suffer from this kind of baldness, you say it is treatable. i am running 67 now, my wife is 59, we both suffer from hairfall, it is due to age and hereditary too.