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Newly diagnosed and full of questions!

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed Alopecians' started by sunshinekid, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. sunshinekid

    sunshinekid Guest

    I came to this board after realizing how useless my doctor was towards having alopecia. It's quite clear that if something isn't life threatening then they don't care and want you out the room as quickly as possible.

    I was just diagnosed in early March with alopecia areata and really didn't take it very well and the stress from HAVING alopecia, only made the patch I had worse (it's stress-induced). So I've made changes in my job and my lifestlye to make everything a little more easygoing, and I think it's stopped for now, it's not growing back, but it's stopped.

    So I consider myself lucky, because it's right on the back of my head, and I have longish hair so it's not visible, unless I put my hair up. But as someone whose hair is the centrepiece to their style, I really need some help here! And I don't know who to go and ask.

    I have bleached blonde hair, sometimes I use directions hair dyes to add pastel pinks/purples for the weekend. My hair has always stayed in good condition despite this, until alopecia happened. Now my hair feels brittle and very dead at the ends. I rarely ever use heat!

    Is this because of alopecia?
    Should I stop bleaching or colouring alltogether?
    Is there an alternative that will be less damaging?
    Is there anything I can use to make it better?

  2. Joann

    Joann Moderator

    Mar 25, 2005
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    Welcome to Her Alopecia sunshinekid :grouphug:

    I'm sorry to hear about the Alopecia Areata . It is a highly unpredictable condition and as such is very frustrating to deal with as no two cases will be exactly the same.

    My own personal experience spans almost an entire lifetime as it started when I was very young, only 4 years old. I've learned a lot about this condition as time has gone through my own personal experience, through research, attending the medical question & answer sessions at the National Alopecia Areata conferences and supporting those diagnosed with it .

    There are no simple, concrete answers . I have been frustrated with the medical profession myself after trying to comfort those who were heartbroken to find that their hair continued to fall after their derm promised to cure them.

    At this time there are treatments that will may regrow the hair that is lost but they don't cure the underlying problem which is the mistaken attack of the immune system's white blood cells on the hair follicle. Often the immune system will correct itself but not in each and every case. If it doesn't even the newly regrown hair can be lost.

    Stress can be a trigger for some people but others have differing triggers. Stress is not good for our general health so it not's a bad thing to bring it under control.

    I experienced a long remission with my Alopecia Areata. At that time I can't stay I was never stressed. In fact I had some very stressful life events going on and didn't lose hair. Yet when the Alopecia Areata started up again, the first question my derm asked me is if I was stressed. It's bad enough to be losing hair but to feel that you are in some way responsible is a burden no one needs to shoulder.

    I find parents whose children experience Alopecia Areata to be especially hard on themselves. It's hard to get them to let go of the burden of guilt.

    I know during the periods of time when my hair would fall out through the years I was fearful to even comb or shampoo thinking I would cause more loss. In truth with Alopecia Areata the hair that is going to fall out will. Many of the treatments offered work at creating an irritation on the scalp so the immune system is diverted from attacking the hair follicles. Who knows? Dying or perming could in effect do the same thing.

    You may be looking at me and really getting worried about your own case of Alopecia Areata. However, please keep in mind that it is only 1% of the population who goes on to have the more severe forms of Alopecia Areata. Most cases resolve themselves within a year or so. Some people only had one incidence of Alopecia Areata and that's it.

    There are indicators of a poorer prognosis but even with those nothing can be written in stone as I had most of them and yet my hair grew back each and every time with the last time being the exception. Here they are:

    The onset occurs in childhood
    The initial bout of hair loss affects more than half your scalp
    You have Down's syndrome
    You have an atopic disease such as atopic eczema
    You have eyelash and /or eyebrow hair loss
    You have a family history of alopecia areata
    You have ophiasis (alopecia areata of the scalp margin)
    You have nail changes
    You have another auto-immune disease

    Here is a concrete fact about Alopecia Areata that you can hold on to:

    "In all forms of alopecia areata, the hair follicles remain alive and are ready to resume normal hair production whenever they receive the appropriate signal. In all cases, hair regrowth may occur even without treatment and even after many years."

    Lots of room for hope with Alopecia Areata.


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