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Should I See A Second Derm Or Definitely Androgenetic Alopecia?

Discussion in 'The Undiagnosed' started by Poppy, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. Poppy

    Poppy New Member

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    Hi! I'm new to the forum! I'm really relieved to have found a community..

    My story:

    I'm currently 25 years old, and my hair has been slowly thinning for possibly almost a decade. I remember that toward the end of high school, my mom told me to part my hair differently. At the time I didn't think anything of it because I had LOADS and LOADS of hair and also had been parting my hair the same way all my life so it seemed reasonable. I didn't think it necessary to do any research about hair loss.

    My part never got better, but I didn't pay so much attention to it and also attributed it to stress, as I was going through a pretty tough time at school... The stress never subsided over the course of the next years through college, and has only recently let up. Once it did, I realized with horror that my hair felt noticeably thin (maybe half or even slightly less than what I started with.) Because I was so preoccupied with other things until now, I'm not sure if the thinning sped up toward the end or if I only noticed at the end. Now I'm stressed daily about the state of my hair and it feels very upsetting and frustrating since the school-related stress was finally done!! :'(

    Hair:
    Overall:
    - Widening part and diffuse thinning
    - Has been growing slowly (6 inches in the last year?)

    Since I've started paying attention:
    - Shedding happens throughout the day, IDK if it's excessive, though every strand feels precious
    - When I look down there'll be a few hairs on the floor where I'm sitting, or a strand on my arm
    - If I run my hands through my hair I might get one or two strands, but not every time

    Medical stuff:
    - Mom and dad have hair loss :(
    - I went to a doctor, who ran some blood tests and iron, thyroid etc were normal
    - Doctor referred me to a dermatologist, who I waited a couple months to see
    - Dermatologist saw me for about 2 min, barely let me finish my sentence before prescribing minoxdil (Women's Rogaine)
    - Derm says minoxidil will work permanently if use it for 6 months and then slowly taper off, but according to all my research that's just not true??

    Questions:
    - Does it sounds like I definitely have Androgenetic Alopecia and it was triggered very early on in my life and I'm doooomed?
    - Is there a chance it could be anything else, since I was also under incredible stress for the entire duration of my hair loss?
    - Should I see another dermatologist for an actual diagnosis?
    - Should I hold off on minoxidil until then?

    I thought that going to the dermatologist would give me a diagnosis or some kind of comfort by finally having answers, but I left feeling like I wasn't listened to at all, and I don't trust the prescription he gave me. I don't want to resign myself to a life sentence of minoxidil while feeling uncertain....

    If I DON'T use minoxidil, will my hair get thinner and thinner?? I have a lot of decades ahead of me...

    I've been thinking about my hair every waking moment since my appointment and it's definitely not great for me emotionally or in terms of productivity :(
     
    #1 Poppy, Apr 6, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
  2. tula

    tula Member

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    I had a similar experience with a dermatologist. The jerks. Lol. One didn't even look at my scalp before suggesting minoxidil.
    I do think a second opinion can't hurt. Did you have your ferritin tested? Doctors will say it is normal but it needs be about 70 for good growth. I am currently trying to raise mine in hoped of some regrowth. My hormones are also a problem.
    Stress can definitely be a problem. Then the constant stress of hair loss doesn't help.
    I think you should get a second opinion and even a biopsy to know for sure.
    Good luck. I know how hard this is.
     
  3. losing_it

    losing_it Established Member

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    Hey there! I wish I had answers for you, but I’m in a similar boat where I don’t know what’s going on with me! I’m 29, my hair issues started around 22.

    But I do have a couple thoughts... number one is that the derm is definitely incorrect about Rogaine. You need to continue using it for it to continue working. That being said, I think it’s definitely worth trying! A lot of people have great results from Rogaine. I’ve been using it since I was 25 and it’s just part of my daily routine, I don’t even think about it anymore, it isn’t as big of a deal or hassle as it sounds like.

    Another random thought: 6 inches per year is completely normal. ½ inch per month is the average growth, so that equals 6 inches per year! I’m sure some people grow their hair faster, but some people grow it much slower too.

    I’m sorry your derm left you feeling that way. That’s been my entire experience with derms. I leave feeling more upset and frustrated than when I went in. I now tend to go to hair surgeons (I find them by googling “PRP hair loss <insert city>“). Some of them are great, and some of them are just as bad as the derms. If you have good insurance maybe try to get to an endocrinologist who can read all your hormones. If I had good insurance that’s what I’d try to do.

    But you’re not in this alone! So many other young women are suffering through this with you, and you might not have a clue who they are, but they are out there! PM me if you ever need to chat. *hugs*
     
  4. losing_it

    losing_it Established Member

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    Poppy, these bots or scammers or whatever they are have been popping up more and more on this site. Please be extremely wary about listening to anyone who appears to be trying to sell things. Stick to proven methods. People prey on those of us with hair loss because they know they are in a desperate situation. :(
     
  5. Poppy

    Poppy New Member

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    Thanks for your reply! Why aren't they more sympathetic T_T this is such an emotionally difficult issue for people affected... Is ferretin the same thing as iron..? If not then I didn't have that tested...
     
  6. Poppy

    Poppy New Member

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    Don't worry, I always look to see if a message is selling a product!! I've done enough research to know that there is no miracle cure :(

    Your message made me feel a bit better. I'm really frustrated that the derm would say that about Rogaine... did he not know or did he just want me to go away :/ And giving that kind of false hope to people who might not know better is awful. Did you have any initial shedding with Rogaine, and how much has it helped? I think I might get a second opinion and try rogaine when it's colder again so I could hide the shedding with a hat at least....

    I don't have great insurance but I'll go talk to a GP and see what they can do...

    I might take you up on your offer to PM sometime :( Thanks a lot!
     
  7. MaryKate

    MaryKate New Member

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    One doctor told me that stress could have been behind androgenic alopecia. I had high Dheas once - which is mainly produced in the adrenal gland - and she said stress could have messed up my adrenals and triggered other issues. I would google "hair loss specialists" and your state. The derm should have done some tests or at least let you know you should see someone who specializes in hair loss or does comprehensive testing.
     
  8. Girlyouareafirework

    Girlyouareafirework New Member

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    Definitely, do see the second derm before you begin a life-long treatment such as rogaine. I have a similar experience to you, my hair loss started when I was 15 years and was very very mild until I decided to get a keratin treatment. Chemical treatment plus the food in US with lots of preservatives, additives, sweetners and antibiotics contributed further to my hair loss. Ignorant, I did keratin treatment again and during the treatment the hairdresser scratched the back of my scalp so hard to remove dandruff, I think he permanently scarred my hair follicles :( My hair has become extremely thin at the back, it is so depressing :( I cry pretty much every day! I had a good amount of hair before my second chemical treatment.

    From my 10+ years experience with hair loss, I have realized that even if you are genetically predisposed to hair loss, your lifestyle will determine the rate of hair loss. Eat healthy, whole food and make sure you get enough protein, iron & nutrients in your diet. Completely eliminate all forms of chemical or heat styling from your hair routine. Wash your hair less often & use a mild shampoo. Massage every day & apply stimulating oils such as lavender, peppermint etc on a weekly basis. Pay attention to your gut, are you having healthy bowel movements? If not, see if you have any dietary allergies like dairy, peanuts, gluten. Minimize them & see how you react. Birth control pills also cause hair loss. Lastly, practice meditation to destress & tell yourself your hair is going to be okay. I know it is not easy at all, I don't think I am there myself. But I want you to try your best to be happy & believe it is going to be okay. Your mind is a powerful thing, we humans are not close to perceiving how powerful positivity could be.

    If your hair loss is not too bad, trust me you still have a chance of saving the hair you have left maybe even reverse it to some level. And that may simply require a lifestyle change. Recovering from hair loss needs patience because your hair grows only 0.5 inches a month & different follicles are going to take different time to activate, it is going to take a couple of years to see a difference in the total volume. That's why prevention is better than repair. And if you ever reach a state where your hair loss is too severe, trust me, know you will rock any style :) Be it buzz cut or extensions or even a shaved head. You are awesome like that!

    Don't be too hard on yourself. Hugsss!
     
    Farrah711, Jenn and Poppy like this.
  9. Jenn

    Jenn New Member

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    Same here, I thought because she was a woman she would be more empathetic but, there was no biopsy. Just use Minoxidil, I just went back for a 6 mos check in , barely saw her 3 min after waiting 1:25 min. I am definitely going to get a second opinion.
     

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