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Retin-A, causing my hair loss??

Discussion in 'Medications that can cause Hair Loss' started by lc_78, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. VMmom

    VMmom Guest

    I've been using Retin-A 0.1% on my face off & on for several years. I never connected it with hair loss. I noticed mine shedding last August, but I have no way of knowing if it's the RA or not. How could I possibly pinpoint that? I have a history of female hair loss in my family, so I tend to blame that rather than Retin-A. Plus I don't get any of the gel in or near my hair.
     
  2. Very interesting, Bootsie, and good to know about the RA! So sorry you had to endure so much stress, but so happy you made it through! Praying for your continued recovery and much happiness:)
     
  3. angies99

    angies99 Guest

    Just a quick update.

    My shed is now back to normal after I stop using the Retin A. My hair still don't grow that much but at least it does not shed excessively. I caught up with my gf, who continue to use the Retin A, I notice she got a thin spot in front. She still has a full head of hair just that some part is a bit thinner. I have not found a replacement for RetinA for my skin. I am using some cold peel once a week, but not quite get the same result.
     
  4. Bootsie

    Bootsie New Member

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    This may be a long shot, but I think you can pinpoint if it is Retin A that is causing your hair loss. The doctor can do a liver test to see if you have too much Vitamin A in your system. I have read this somewhere before, but can't remember where. Excess of Vitamin A is most definately a cause of hair loss and it will show up in your liver, whether you take it orally or topically. It would not hurt to ask if you are unsure. I only became sure once all my stress was done, I was still not recovering from the hair loss and could only chalk it up to Retin because there is no hair loss in my family and I absolutely take no medication whatsoever. Once I removed the Retin A, that is when I could see and feel the improvement.
     
  5. atlanta girl

    atlanta girl Guest

    Did you ever have the scalp pain from the effect of the retin A? I noticed a distinct burning pain in my bangs and along the top of head when it started to shed out pretty soon after starting the retin A. Unfortunately it took me 6 months to finally 'get it'.

    I don't think I used too much, only a pea size dab, but I'm sure using it 2-3 times a week did me in. Not only this, the derm who prescribed it told me to rough up my skin ahead of time for better absorption. A liver Vit A toxicity test taken 2 months after going off the retin A confirmed ut of range high Vit A! My eyes got very dry, inside my nose was dry, my mood was depressed and my vision blurred. Did you have any of these other symptoms? The list of toxic Vit A symptoms are just what I had.

    I'm happy to hear you hair is returning as well as it is. This is great news! Mine is ok. It would be better if I didn't just have another hair loss "event" from dropping ferritin levels. The top and bang area never fully filled in and many of the hairs are still oddly kinked, but this might work out over time. As long as I keep my ferritin up I'll recover pretty well I think. Like you, man do I miss the wonderful effect of retin A!!

    Good luck to you with a continued recovery. Sounds like you are progressing just dandy. Not having to use the Topix is a true sign of progress!

    AG

     
  6. Bootsie

    Bootsie New Member

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    I never had scalp pain associated with the hair loss. I used more than a pea sized amount every evening so I know I used way too much. I did have dry eyes and nose and blurred vision. I used to think it was allergies...never made the connection. Your growth will come back but will take a long time. I compare hair loss from Retin to the hair loss people have reported from use of Accutane. Similar derivatives in both. It takes a very long time to recover. I can tell you that i am very far from a full recovery. My bangs are thin but worse than that is the hair just behind my bangs. I cover it up well. All summer I wore the sunglasses on my head instead of on my eyes. Toppik, hair spray and trying to stay out of the sun were my saviours. I hated using toppik, but had no choice. It worked really well at hiding the bald, but tended to gather in bunches by end of the day. I hated the way it made my hair feel. I have been two weeks without toppik and sometimes go to reach for it on a bad hair day and talk myself out of it. I used Nioxin for 14 months and have recently switched to a volumizing shampoo and conditioner (Rusk). Daily I take (2) 500 mg Vit C, (1) B100 complex, (1) Omega 369, (2) 1000 mg Biotin and (1) 1000 mg Vit. D.
    If you can get your iron levels up and keep it there, you will be home free...you are already more than half way there!
     
  7. atlanta girl

    atlanta girl Guest

    Thanks Bootsie for your encouraging post! Weird, same here with the really thin area right behind the bangs. Did you also lose your eyebrows and eyelashes? Mine thinned dramatically. I've been successfully using "Rapidlash" on eyelashes for the past 3 months and they have returned wonderfully.

    You didn't mention if you got any kinked, weird hairs from the retin A? Boy, we really used the strong stuff too. Forgot to mention, although perhaps you read in an earlier post of mine, that I used .01 and .025 retin A for over 20 years. At one point I upped from cream to gel and who knows if I developed hair problems earlier than the .1 disaster. I had too many hormonal things going on when perimeno hit to isolate to one thing. Down the road though, with the .1 retin A, there was no question at all.

    True, true. This retin A hair loss is very similar to the accutane hair loss. There is a huge thread on acne.com (I think this is the board) where a number of mainly young men developed serious hair loss issues from accutane. They each tried to solve it, but generally, in the end, it had to run it's course. My retirement worthy derm told me he had only seen two cases of accutane hair loss ever in his practice. This was in response to my pressing the similarity of accutane and retin A WHEN he claimed "no way" in response to my blaming the .1 mg stuff had caused nasty severe hair loss. There he stood and said he used it too and always had. Bald as a cue ball male pattern.

    How many people have loss from this stuff and attribute it to something else? Well like you for instance. It took a long time for you to get at the core problem because it looked like it was severe stress driven. Who wouldn't think this? And mine, for 6 solid months, mistook for too low ferritin. As for both of us, not that these things didn't play in, it's just that they were secondary to the main factor to blame.

    Well here's to us going into full recovery! I never used the Topix, but do comb my hair over my bang area and this conceals pretty well. Because I'm also a vitamin and healthy diet person I've done well continuing to grow hair thank goodness. But man-o-man, the heaviness of retin A loss is unbearably massive at times. Keep up your good progress as I know you are....

    AG :sun:
     
  8. Bootsie

    Bootsie New Member

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    Hi Atlanta Girl!

    Sorry took so long to respond...

    I did not lose eyelashes, but did lose about the last 1/3 of my eyebrows.

    I must say that I really miss the effects of Retin A though...but never again!! My skin was so beautiful that at age 47 was being asked for ID at the casino and liquor store...did I love that or what? Now I'm back to looking my age...lol...but have hair so I am happy about that.

    I wish you continued success in your hair growth....

    Thank you for your posts and encouraging words...
     
  9. 40introy

    40introy Guest

    I've read and re-read all the posts in this thread several times, as I have been using Retin A on and off for about five years, hair loss started about 4 years ago. I use Tx Systems Afirm 2x strength, every other night. I have been inconsistent about using it over the years but my loss has been very gradual up until late 2010 when I had a massive shed (also went off Spironolactone at this point.) I was using Afirm pretty religiously then and continue to today, my hair has not recovered.

    I looked up the amount of Retinol in the Afirm 2x strength, it is .3%. Does that seem crazy high? I am going to stop using it for awhile to see if I notice any regrowth.

    How long did it take after stopping Retinol did you ladies see regrowth?
     
  10. Bootsie

    Bootsie New Member

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    For me, I feel that I am just starting to recover. I went off the Retin A completely by April 1, 2011. Once I went off, in July 2011 I had another massive shed. I believe this is from going off the medication. Now into middle of September I see lots of regrowth in the parts. I still have a very very long way to go. I think I lost 30-40% of my scalp. The hair on top covers it well because I have thick hair. During this transition period I used Toppik to cover the shiny bald spots. I no longer use the toppik, but sometimes, when I see "space" in my scalp, I reach for the toppik and talk myself out of it. I used Nioxin shampool and condition for over a year because my hair loss started 16 months ago, but I was unaware it was the Retin A that was the culprit. I stopped usiing nioxin now and use a volumizing shampoo/conditioner. The top of my head and just behind my bangs are very thin still, but I feel stubble underneath when I rub my fingers through. I can see the difference even with the little growth happening. Hope this helps.
     
  11. 40introy

    40introy Guest

    Yes this helps, thanks!

    My hair loss has gotten really bad within the last 12 months. I experienced a horrible shed after I went off Spironolactone last fall, so I started back up in February of this year.

    I have also been doing laser light therapy since January. I have not seen ANY regrowth, I mean none, this year at all. Never any short hairs, no stubble, no nothing. Every time I get out of the shower I part my hair in a bunch of different spots and press down on it to see if there are any hairs sticking up - none. It's so depressing.

    I will stop using the Retinol and see if anything happens. What do you think about the 0.3% strength?
     
  12. Bootsie

    Bootsie New Member

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    Im sorry...don't know anything about .3 strength. Mine was .1 but i used lots every day so I think that is what did me in.
     
  13. Elley88

    Elley88 Guest

    I saw this thread and thought I would post to say that I've also had the same experience using a Retin-A gel. I had a hair shed last autumn after using an acne gel, but my doctor said it wasn't connected. I hve recently started using a different acne cream and have just realised that it is also a retinoid - I thought I had noticed that my hair was getting very dry and coming out some more.

    I don't think many doctors understand the connection. For me, my scalp felt really painful like someone was pulling on my hair constantly. I have stopped this cream now after only a couple of weeks, so hopefully the repercussions won't be too dramatic.

    Just to reassure people - it takes a few months after stopping the retinoid for the shed to finish, but it does recover. My hair was back to normal in about 6 months.
     
  14. teenygirl

    teenygirl Guest

    I am fourteen and started using retin a micro in the end of December. i only used it around 4 times but i put a lot on. I started using it because of acne. I had an allergic reaction to it and i had acid burns.. i didn't leave the house for about 2 weeks because all my skin on my face was coming off and my face was bright red.. i stopped using it. Before i started using it, i had extreamly thick hair.. i could barley fit it in a pony tail. within 2 weeks.. i started noticing hair was falling out a lot. Then i started loosing hair around my hair line. I now have atleast 2 inches into my head i have no hair. I went to a derm and they said it happens when you use retin a, but mine was a server case and my hair wont grow back for atleast 6 months.. it is still falling out.
     
  15. atlanta girl

    atlanta girl Guest

    So sorry to read your story. How amazing that you only used the Retin A Micro 4 times! I recall when I first started on the .1% stuff to replace the .025% that my scalp got painful with intermittent stabbing pains. I was much slower to make the connection that you were. At the time my ferritin had dropped so my focus was on building it back up with loading doses of iron. High doses of iron can also cause scalp sensations and extra hair shedding for some of us, so this was what I thought the problem was. Meanwhile, the Retin A was destroying my hair line and cause a good bit of receding. Did you lose your eyebrows and lashes too?

    I'm now a year and a half past going off the stuff. About 9 months after quiting the .1% , and really missing the effects of Retin A, I trialed a small, small dose of Retinol, weak, OTC stuff, and would you know it also caused more shedding with loss of eyebrows and lashes! No more trial of Vit A derivatives for me.

    Then, about 3 months ago I took a small 1/4th t internal dose of the potent FCLO (fermented cod liver oil) and it too caused dramatic hair shedding. The dose of vit A in it was about 4000 iu. That's not a high dose, but apparently I can not tolerate anything with Vit A now. Wow!

    My bangs are still thin and shed out a good bit of small hairs and were doing this before the fclo too. Whether or not I ever recover my bang hair is still up for grabs. The hairs fall out short, but many are thick. They just seem dry and don't grow full terminal.

    But the good news is that my ferritin is now up over 100 and I have a lowish shed with good growth in other places. I don't have any complaints and feel lucky to have exited that nightmare.

    Every single label I read for Vit A and now make my own face creams.

    Good luck to you and hang in there. Thankfully you had a short course of the stuff. You'll recover your hair even though the shedding cycle seems to be a long one. Many people who have gone through the Retin A hair shedding say the same thing.

    Keep posting.

    AG

     
  16. Gypsy99

    Gypsy99 Guest

    Hi
    are you all taking any medicine along with retin a? how could retin a cause hair loss?
     
  17. Alison

    Alison Guest

    topical Retin A hair loss

    I just started topical retina A for my acne and melisma and have been on it for one month and noticed more of my hair falling out similar to how it fell out around 5 months after I had each of my boys. I first noticed more hair falling out when shampooing my hair then today I looked in the mirror and noticed loss of hair like a receding hair line and more so on my right side. 5-6 months after having my boys my hair fell out and there was almost a bald spot/ receding hairline as men do whit age. I then started researching hair loss and my medications and wondered if it was retin A. I also just started Vyvanse last month and spironolactone but stopped only was taking the spironolactone for 2 weeks and stopped it because I did not feel comfortable taking a diuretic since I do not drink much water. Still looking into things to seeing what the cause of my hair loss is.
     
  18. Vik Smith

    Vik Smith New Member

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    Vik

    I started using a Retinol A cream in September and a few weeks later, my once extremely thick long hair was ruined. Over night, it had reduced in length, by several inches and was very thin. It was transparent. A colleague asked why I'd cut my hair off. I hadn't touched it. I was distraught. My sister also used the same product and her hair fell out in clumps. I never had any shedding, just thinning. Our eyebrows also stopped growing. I'm hoping we make a full recovery. It's been about 10 weeks since we both stopped the product! Does anyone know how long recovery takes? Thanks
     
  19. mycurlyhair

    mycurlyhair Experienced Member

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    I was also using a Ret A cream on my face when my issues started..Not sure its from that, I just will never know. I blame it on a lot of things. Wish I knew which it was.
     
  20. Lois

    Lois New Member

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    This thread has been very helpful. I had surgery June 1st. I was prescribed a retinol cream in July. Hair loss started in June but it has continued to get worse. I am postmenopausal but have ALWAYS had thick hair. My hairdresser has always said I had great hair. Now my bangs are very thin and I have what seems to be receding hairline around my temples. My hair has gotten thin, coarse and sort of frizzy. I also started taking progesterone in April. I am a healthier eater and do take vitamins and drink lots of water. My dr. is going to check my hormone levels again soon. I am now pretty convinced that it started with TE and then the retinol continued to make it worse. I havent ever counted my shedding so I dont know how much I have lost. Showers always scare!
     

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