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New To Forum and Freaking Out :( Any Input?

Discussion in 'Women's Alopecia Areata' started by Cgirl, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. Cgirl

    Cgirl Guest

    Hi everyone. Have been reading the forums here and everyone here seems very knowledgable compared to the other forums I've found. Here is my situation:

    I am in my early 30's and just noticed yesterday for the first time a huge smooth bald spot on the top right side of my head in the middle. It's about 3 inches wide and maybe an inch to two high. I have been freaking out ever since. The spot is smooth with no redness or dryness or bumps. Completely huge smooth bald spot.

    I have naturally curly hair that has always been thin. I always shed a lot since I only wash my hair and scalp once a week and just rinse other days. In the last two months I did notice more hair coming from the root when I washed and detangled but thought nothing of it. Then boom ...all of a sudden this huge spot shows up.

    Also, I have suffered from eczema since I was a child all over. I've had it on my face and scalp before and have had sebhorric dermatitis on my scalp and eyebrows before. Medication usually cleared that up but I've never had bald spots! Now I am freaking out b/c I am convinced that my arm hair is thinning now. I've always had bushy eyebrows and hairy arms but my bf says that my arms and eyebrows don't look any different.

    One thing is that in the last two months, I've had VERY itchy scalp and big hard flakes that come off of my head when I scratch and at night. Not dandruff like flakes. These are hard crusty big flakes. Don't know if this is related to the hair loss since the flaked appear to come from the back and bottom of my scalp not the sides.

    I've been on the phone all day trying to find a derm since I am new to this area and just moved here. I keep reading about people having ten million diagnostic tests it seems and I'm worried b/c I don't have a job here yet and only have a p/t home-based job at the moment and no insurance. I am terrified to comb out my hair for fear of finding more huge bald spots.

    In addition to a history of eczema, I also have asthma and hay fever which I heard is common in family backgrounds for people with Alopecia Areata.

    Any suggestions for me, please? TIA!
  2. ifeelsoalone

    ifeelsoalone Established Member

    Apr 24, 2007
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    Hi there and welcome,
    I'm so sorry your experiencing this, but i'm glad you found the forum. The women here are wonderful and SO supportive. Unfortunately, i don't know about what your going through (i have female-pattern baldness) but i would recommend finding a derm and getting a diagnosis so you can start some sort of treatment... Good luck and keep us updated :)
  3. joshsmommy

    joshsmommy Guest

    Hi and wlecome to the boards. You've probably guessed this by now, but what you've described with the smooth spot is indicative of Alopecia Areata. This spot could be your only one or it could progress...it is unpredictable and you have every right to be scared.

    That said, there are treatments available. You do need a derm. Where do you live?

    Good luck

  4. Cgirl

    Cgirl Guest

    Thanks for the replies :)

    Yes, from my research it sounded like it was Alopecia Areata and it seems so scary to me that it is so unpredictable. I know a woman who apparently had something similar as a pre-teen, got some cortisone shots for a period of time and she hasn't had any hair loss since. Then I read about others who keep getting more and more spots. Right now, I can cover it up by wearing a ponytail but if any hair in front of it by the temple falls out, I will be totally screwed in terms of hiding it :(

    I'm in Dallas TX.

    The worst part is that the stress of this is making my hand eczema ten times worse since that is activated by stress.
  5. sarajaye

    sarajaye Guest

    The cortizone shots could definitely help you. While I don't know any specialists in Dallas, you may want to call experts in NY and LA and ask for referrals. I'm in NY and have visited an endo, Dr. Donald Bergman, and I have heard of a Dr. Redmond is also a expert in female hair issues. The derm experts I know of are Michael Reed and Theodore "Ted" Daly, the latter being in Long Island NY. Wish I had better advice, but i tcould be a place to start.

    Don;t freak yet until you have a firm diagnosis. Usually there are regimens which will halt or reverse this. Just takes a Sh!&load of time for treatments & meds to work. Hang in there.
  6. joshsmommy

    joshsmommy Guest

    Dr Whiting is in Dallas I believe and he is a nationally recognized hair loss derm.

    I would try him if I were you. Good luck!
  7. Cgirl

    Cgirl Guest

    From my research, I have not heard good things about Dr. Whiting. He sounds way too much like the derm I had once that gave me medications for psoriasis instead of eczema, which is what I have. And this was a doctor that was considered one of the top doctors in DC (where I just moved from).

    Also, I don't have insurance and am not trying to pay over 100 for a single visit..much less $400!

  8. gia72

    gia72 Guest

    I went to Whiting, and though his bedside manner is atrocious, he does appear (unfortunately for me) to know his stuff. Biopsy cost $400 or $450, can't recall, and it's true he doesn't do insurance.
  9. byardley0

    byardley0 Guest

    Dr. David Whiting is the expert on hair and scalp biopsy if necessary. he is highly rated in the research community. Good luck.
  10. rayneStormRN

    rayneStormRN Guest

    hi, welcome to the boards. i remember the first day i looked in the mirror and saw a bald spot, which a couple weeks later was three...........and for months i only had three spots, and the initial treatment seemed to halt their spread, but did not grow my hair back.

    not having insurance is a pain, becuase doctors, ESPECIALLY specialists are expensive. is there any way you could get insurance?

    not all doctors are the same. you might have to shop around. my derm is ok, he doesn't specialize in hair loss, just general derm, but i'm getting results from the treatment. i've gone from approx 80% hair loss to maybe 30% or less, altho what has grown back is white, no pigment at all.

    based on MY experience i would reccomend spot injections, as i have had results from that, that won't prevent new spots, and that's the downfall to it. however, what works for one person, especially with this particular disease, doesn't neccesarily work for other people, but so far injections are working for me.

    keep us posted, and know that you aren't alone.
  11. Cgirl

    Cgirl Guest

    The idea of injections in the scalp sound so painful! I'm the kind of person that cries and screams when they draw blood for routine tests.

    Rayne - about how many injections have you gotten?

    And as for the insurance issue, the only way for me to get insurance would be to find a job and it can take months to get a job in my field unfortunately.
  12. rayneStormRN

    rayneStormRN Guest

    i've had four or five rounds of injections i think. they're not that bad. my doctor uses an air injector, so there's no needle, just a hard slap as the medication hits the scalp. at one point when my hair loss was at its worst, and there was too much scalp to cover, he gave an injection in the arm, but i didn't really see results from that.

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