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What is diffuse Alopecia Areata, What does it look like?

Discussion in 'Women's Alopecia Areata' started by nooneseesbutme, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. The hair that I lose is white at the root and then turns brown, like not just the root, but the actual HAIR. Also my thinness is on the sides and the nape. Someone though that this could be diffuse Alopecia Areata, What do y'all think?
  2. jessarie

    jessarie Guest

    The same thing is happening to me!! ALL of the hair that falls out now has the white tips (like quarter inch, or more!) When I asked the derm he said it was "normal." You know that's weird cause never in my life have I seen hair fall out that looked like that! I've never heard of diffuse Alopecia Areata, but maybe I have this???
  3. Joann

    Joann Moderator

    Mar 25, 2005
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    Hi Girls,

    There is a condition known as diffuse Alopecia Areata. Here is some info about it:

    "Diffuse form of alopecia areata means a form of incomplete hair loss affecting the whole scalp without distinct patches. This type can be difficult to diagnose and may require a biopsy. To help in the diagnosis of any type of alopecia areata, the dermatologist always looks for exclamation point hairs- broken off short hair that taper (get narrower) toward the scalp."

    Hope this info helps. Hugs. Joann
  4. Joann,
    The hairs that I have are broken and get noticably thinner toward the scalp. I heard, however that to have diffuse Alopecia Areata you have very extensive loss and shed upwards of 400 hairs a day. Do you know if this is true. Thank you for the info, as there is not a lot of info out there about Diffuse Alopecia Areata.
  5. ruthie

    ruthie Guest

    Hi ,i'm new here i just want to tell everyone i feel for you with trying deal with alopecia ,i was diagnosed in 2004 i went to Derm dr i had 2 bare spots about as big as a nickel in back my head near nape also .....he told me i had Alopecia Areata took picture gave me this beta val lotion to rub on the spots for 3 months it did nothin ,i went back he gave me box Rogaine and said no return, i came home cryed my heart out ,i also suffer from OCD so its been 2 years and 3 months no change all my hair underneath in back is gone i had long hair over the shoulder i always spiral curl it myself ,so i still can hide it but i can see how diffused it is right side is shorter hairs are pure white ,i need a color done but i'm scared i try hang on to what hair i have left ,this has caused me panic attacks and when i wash my hair i'm devasted today i had a sick feeling i thought i saw a bare spot side top my crown i just here i thought i was ready to try and accept whats happening since its underneath now i just feel hopeless after seeing that today ,my life is turned upside down ,no one where i live in pa never heard of this ,it's all i think about it consumes me everyday ,how will i face the outside world if the worse comes ,i've always been obsessed with my hair it was so thick ,people i know say well just get a wig yeah it's easy for them to say ...this is like grieving i rationalize because i don't know why it happened ,i do have anxiety and stress at times this is making it worse i feel Alone since this happened i wish i could be the person i was before this my life wasn't perfect but it's okay ,i have famiy or friends that complain about a bad hair trim or color what i learned from having Alopecia Areata is that wouldn't bother me as long as i didn't have this condition sorry i rambled on here ,but it feels good not to feel alone and when i read all your posts it brought me to tears because i know what you are all going through ,i hope we all could have better days to come:} ruthie :cry:
  6. sudsie

    sudsie Guest


    You are NOT alone. We have ALL gone through the tumultuous emotions you are experiencing! For me, it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with (and this from a single mom divorced from a guy who suffered from mental illness through much of our marriage!). Take each day at a time and please don't hesitate to get counseling or other help. For me, an antidepressant was really helpful in getting me over the worst. I try to approach each day as "OK, my hair looks OK today, I'll try to worry about tomorrow, tomorrow" Can't do it all the time, but when I can it helps!

    Hang in there....

    Big hug,
  7. ruthie

    ruthie Guest

    Sharon, Thank you so much for he kind words ,i'm sorry to hear about your hairloss and what else has happened to you i know that must have caused you much stress ,Do you have alot hairloss ,i couldn't find where i'm supposed to post so i pressed on reply yesterday and i was so upset yesterday when i saw that spot i never saw it last time i washed my hair ,i always focused near back of my head ,..well 2 months ago i saw both sides up over and around the ears alot hair missing .....I guess i was hanging onto the Hope and after 2 years i feel like i lost it ......The thing that makes me feel alone and sad is i have 2 sisters live near me and 2 live away they never ever call just to ask how am i dealing with this,it's like before Alopecia Areata they kept in touch more ,now i feel like i need them the most their not there ....I lost my mom and brother 5 months apart in 1998 ,the stress from grieving missing them caused me depression so imy pyschiatrist treated me for anxiety and ocd had me go to this councling group once a week i still go ...i had to tell the group i had Alopecia Areata and i couldn't talk without breaking down, it's like all woman in my group have thick hair no one their ever heard of Alopecia Areata either ,i used o have a therapist i wish he was still working with me but he left for a crisis job...i have a wonderful boyfriend and my son got married in june this year my niece is a hairdresser colored my hair she was shocked when she saw underneath my hair she never heard of this either ,but before ceremony i had panic with heart palpitations oh it was awful ,but i made it i was so happy for my son ...my boyfriend is there for me we have been together for along time , he just doesn't know what to tell me anymore , this condition has made me paranoid bitter and angry ,i don't want to be that way ,when i talk to a friend i feel scared to get close to anyone because i feel useless ,and i want so much to socialize ,i try do best i can ,i know your right try take one day at a time and their are times when i can do that but other times it just consumes me ,i always hope when i leave my apt the day is cloudy .because when sun is out shows everything ,if the wind is blowing alot it depresses me ,i hope you know what i mean ,others that don't have this condition don't understand at all ,i don't think they should judge someone at a time like this and say get over it ,my mood change all day long ,at times i can lose myself into feeling little happy than next minute i'm sad again ,the dr wants me to take paxil ,i am taking a beta blocker [atenonol] for B pressure and a side effect is alopecia [reversable] but i have been on it for years so i don't know ....I wish you the best it sounds like you are postive ,thats a good thing i need to work on that , Fear is something that i never could conquer ,Thank you again Sharon for the advice:eek: Big Hug's Ruthie
  8. Ruthie,
    I have OCD as well, and I think that we have a harder time with anything bad that happens to us because we naturally obsess worse than others (not that hairloss isn't awful for anyone). My psychiatrist is AWESOME and has really worked with me to try to find a med to take for the OCD that doesn't exacerbate the hairloss(chemically speaking), and even something that doesn't make me gain weight for depression. He says it is pointless to give me something for the OCD that I even perceive will cause hairloss, because then I will obsess that it IS CAUSING hairloss, (even if it isn't and those hairs would have fallen out anyways medicine or no medicine). So he said that a lot of the meds list "alopecia" as a side effect, but he will try me on ones where it is highly unlikely. By addressing my concerns,and often talking to me on the phone or in his office about this and the host of the other problems that I have, he does a lot to reassure me that I will be OK, and that has made me worry a lot less. I guess he just humors me, and it takes a little time, but in the long run, I am so much better because he took the time to really find out what will work for me. He doesn't take the "I am the Doctor and you are the patient and you are going to listen to me and I know best" approach, and the funny thing is, he IS the DOCTOR and he DOES know best! But he also knows that I need to have a say in my treatment, and if he doesn't respect my opinion, then I will not be comfortable with taking the meds and I won't take them.

    The point that I am trying to make is that if you don't have a doctor that is willing to help you with treating your OCD, and not making it worse by just giving you whatever the drug rep dropped off samples of, without regard for the fact that you will then worry about hairloss on the drug, in turn perpetuating the OCD, then find a different doctor. Find one who understands that people with mental disorders THINK differently than do others sometimes. We are QUIRKY, and we require PATIENCE, and INNOVATION, not just a one-size-fits-all mentality.

    The good doctors are out there!!! I have been to everyone in my town and he is the only one that I didn't want to knock out with something blunt. (Kidding, but they sucked). And of course I am sure that he has wanted to knock me out with something blunt as well, but he has also done his job, and done it well.

    Find someone to help you!!! It really feels better to obsess less, it is a freedom that I cannot put into words. Good Luck.!!!!!

  9. ruthie

    ruthie Guest

    Hi 'M' Thank you so much for for responding ,You sound like you have a wonderful psychiatrist that make a world difference ,mine sees me half hour if i'm lucky and he doesn't say much ,i had a therapist few years ago that specialized in OCD and i saw him for an hour but he works a crisis hospital now ,you made me feel better about the obsessing that we think differently when something is wrong or worry ,than some others that don't have OCD , it is a mental disorder i know your right its best to get a dr to work with you that has PATIENCE ,you know everyhing you said i thought it but ever could put i into words, and oh yes it does feel better to WORRY LESS oh what freedom ,my mind is always racing with thoughts .....like today went for my yearly pap test and the GYN did a culture too so that Culture is stuck in my head with Fear,but i feel so emotionally physically mentaly exhausted when i got ome i felt like i was in a trance the alopecia wore me out i see m psychiatrist tomorrow because of my insurance i have to take who they give me ,i thought at least i would get the Gyn appoint over with now i have to wait for results on culture ,i my OCD books i have it says to take a rubberband put around your wrist and snap it when you start obsess ,maybe i will try it.....I haven't read all th posts yet but i saw one where you said your husband shaves his head bald , so does my boyfriend he tells me shave your head get a wig yeah right ,like you said like we are going to look as good as they do , i told him he has a big head lol, i have a small head ....i'm sorry to hear your son has autisum ,my nieces son also has autisum since he was 2 1/2 yrs old he is now 12 i used to hep watch him ,he was also diganosed with ocd too they are so precious he used to have therapist come to house do drills , he used to just want to play with a string but drills helped some ,now he goes to a school, he an repeat words .Well i hope i can get throuh this worry now the hairloss worry never goes away so this will be difficult,i am going to see what i can do about getting a dr or another psychiatrist to please work with me on my problems ,take care i appreciate yo
    ur advice also :} Ruthie
  10. strugglingon

    strugglingon Guest

    Ruthie, I just want to say that it IS grieving - we are all suffering grief for something we once had. It doesn't matter that "it could be worse" - this is a devastating condition and only those who have suffered it understand this. It will get better for you - and focusing on other positives about you and your life might make it easier. It still does hurt though, and often I want to punch anyone who complains about a "bad hair day..."

    Love and hugs

  11. ruthie

    ruthie Guest


    Alix, Thank You so much for the kind words and support and understanding it means so much not to feel ALONE with this devastating hairloss,i just feel so 'stuck' right now, i'm trying to do the best i can with my hair i have left ,it's about 2 1/2 years for me now ,i guess i had some hope but now alopecia has affected top hair behind my bangs i can see it's not going get better ,i will spend so much time trying conceal it ,before i focused on the hair in back underneath that i lost never grew back ......i want so much to be postive and brave but i'm not there yet ,i just feel like hiding all the time i have always been complicated so i don't know how i will accept this,it is so true you have to suffer from this hairloss to know the emotional pain it can cause .....i am greatful for what is good in my life but i want my hair as i know we all do here ,it gave me some confidence i bought all these new winter clothes and because of my hairloss and my hair has shortened up i feel i don't like way they look on me so i don't wear them .my hair used to be over my shoulders now it's little above, i just don't fel like myself , when i try go shopping i have an okay moment than when i look in mirrors at mall ,i get sick feeling just come back home ,i have a wonderful boyfriend and son they accept me no matter what ,i'm so consumed with FEAR losing all my hair and i feel so tired from worry that all i do is cry and look for things that will help my hair i feel like i won't be okay without my hair it scares me ,you sound very positive and i hope i can be someday too ,i know it will make it easier on those around me too.thank's agan Alix i needed to vent bad day today i hope you are doing okay :} Hug's Ruthie
  12. leslielam

    leslielam Guest

    Alopecia Areata

    I was diagnosed from a biopsy that i had "suggestive alopecia aerata" but my derm still wasn't convinced and said for me to start Rogaine and that was about it.

    Naturally, i was confused, devasted, panicked and depressed, all at the same time.

    I have had other people in the hair business (not drs) say it doesn't look like Alopecia Areata because of not having the hallmark signs of aerata, meaning round bald patches.

    My new internist thinks my being over-medicated with too much thyroid caused the hair loss which she says is alopecia but is hopeful it will come back.

    To be quite honest, i don't think there's a dr. out there that really knows for sure since there are no true blood tests for alopecia, whatever form it takes.

    It's been quite a ride and I have good days and bad days with my hair.

    I just have to keep my faith strong and stay positive.
  13. rayneStormRN

    rayneStormRN Guest

    I know how hard it is to go through the hair loss, and to have to deal with a psychiatric disorder ON TOP of that is brutal. I've struggled with depression in my past, and have a pretty good grip on it now, altho my own hair loss is making it tough, i feel for you, and i'm glad you, like the rest of us, were able to find a place to get support, from people that know what you're going through.
  14. Regina

    Regina Guest


    I also suffer from Alopecia Areata. I am in a state of deep depression. Every time I go out, I look at women's hair. Where do you love in PA? I am in NJ. I do go into Philly a lot. Maybe we could meet for tea (I am not a coffee drinker) and at least have a shoulder to cry on.
  15. leslielam

    leslielam Guest

    I know what you mean


    I was devastated also when i began to lose my hair just this past Jan. It's just gotten worse (have not shaven yet)and it's so hard in the beginning because you DON't know what to do or who to go to. I went for a couple of months trying to hide my thinning hair and wearing hats - it just got too stressful.

    I can say now that after FINALLY finding a compassionate doctor and a wonderful wig lady - the wig and taking Celexa has helped me be ME again. I do have my moments but for the most part my stress-level dropped dramtically as soon as I got a wig. Everyone I know CANNOT believe how real my wig looks. So find someone to go with you and find a great Wig store who will help you look more like you again. It's a strange feeling to go thru but believe me you have GOT to get hair on your head to feel better. I wear a synthetic wig right now but if my hair doesn't come back will probably spend more for human hair wigs.

    My wig is by Rene of Paris and it's the Amore line. Great, up-to-date colors and styles.


    Good luck!

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