Rogaine, clobetasol, plaquenil or steroid injections?

Okay so after reading a vast amount of your blogs I have come to a conclusion. It seems there is no simple answer as to what works best for people suffering with FFA. I started using Rogaine back in February 2013. This was before my doctor started treating me for FFA. Once I had seen my doctor she put me on Clobetasol cream. I know Rogaine take about 5 to 6 months too see any results. I just noticed a few days ago that I started getting very small hairs growing mostly on the sides of my head.

So here is my question. Do I continue with the Clobetasol cream once a day or do I go back to Rogaine. It has been a month since I stopped using it. I have read on some of your blogs that mens Rogaine works better. I know when I see my dermatologist in October she wanted to start injections. The Plaquenil meds scare me the most. Side effects seem scary. What has worked best for anyone out there?

Also I have heard many people talking about itching and burning. Is this from the medication or FFA? I used to have an itchy scalp which my doctor had given me shampoo's to use. Now that I have FFA the itching has stopped. I believe this is all part of the condition. It seems you get the itching and scaling first than FFA. Oh well. Does anyone have any advice?

Still Hopefull.

Views: 2238

Comment by Tallgirl on September 4, 2013 at 8:46pm

Rogaine may cause birth defects. Are you of reproductive age?

Comment by Alina on September 5, 2013 at 6:32pm
Honestly, for me I did a little of everything. I have used Rogaine (with little or no effect) clobetasol, DNCB treatment and steroid injections. Obviously the injections are the worst, but I think the most effective. I lost about 40% of my hair, and almost all of it has grown back. So, if you can, try all of it. Cause if something doesn't work, something else might.
Comment by LittleRhody on September 5, 2013 at 7:37pm

Wow I had no idea that Rogaine caused birth defects. I am not planning on having anymore children. That is still scary. Thanks Alina for the advice. It makes trying the injections seem more positive. I really want to promote. Latisse for eyebrows. I am have wonderful success with this so far. After three months I'm hoping to post some photos with the before and after.

Signed Still Hopefull

Comment by Heather Lorelle Campbell on September 12, 2013 at 2:05am
Hi Little Rhody - my rheumatoligist pit me on Plaque nil and my hair started growing all over my head in 2 months. What side effects have you heard about to Plaquenil? I took the shots also initially, and had successful hair growth, but as soon as the shots stopped all of my hair fell out. My hair now grows all over my head save for a single patch the size of 2 quarters, I believe due to Plaque nil. But now I shave it all off anyway because I learned to love myself as a bald woman. ;)
Comment by Angell on September 12, 2013 at 2:48am

At first i just had AA and steriod shots helped a lot. Then it all fell out 2 years later, including lashes and brows. I did mostly everything after it all fell out. Almost 12 years later, still bald and no lashes or brows. I tried the injections again and even light treatment. A little regrowth, but not for long. Planning on having my brows and liner permanently done again. It is painful and a bit expensive, but it lasts quite a while and felt nicer looking in the mirror and not seeing melting make-up. Haven't worn a wig for over 3 years. Hats and scarves now.....or bald. Good luck and God bless us all.

Comment by Starr on September 12, 2013 at 2:52am
I am 65 and was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata in August after 3 months of developing itching, scaling, burning lesions that left 6 bald spots on the top and back of my scalp. I was treated for lupus flare up, ring worm, and dermatitis seborrhea, and finally a dermatologist did a scalp biopsy which came back positive for AA. He injected the sites with prednisone on August 16, and will do another set of injections October 3. They are not worse and no longer itching, but I do not see any hair growing in the bald spots. I now have FFA and newly developing bald spots with intense itching and burning. Some places feel as though there is a piece of "glass" in my scalp! I have been very discouraged and this has followed a very traumatic year after a brain injury, a divorce, my Father's death, and the loss of my home, not to mention the other autoimmune diseases like Sjogren's and hypothyroidism that have flared up. Reading everyone's posts has helped me understand this disease a little more each time.
Comment by Ellyn on September 12, 2013 at 4:56am

Starr - your hair loss sounds so much like mine except mine started when I was 12 (now nearly 64) - the pain heralding each new flare up is atrocious - indescribable. Mine is caused by Lupus and I have often wondered if there is such physical pain attached to AA. Unfortunately alopecia caused by Lupus seems to be of the scarring type so the hair will definitely never grow back on its own. But, interestingly, a specialist did a small hair transplant on part of my bald spot once and it too and the hair grew but it fell out again when I had chemotherapy BUT it (the small transplant patch) grew again when the rest of my hair grew back after I finished the chemo - but not the rest of the scar which is about 2 inches wide and extends from the hairline in the front to midway down the back of my head - so ugly! You have been through the mill badly with so many negatives in your life in the last year. Try and stay calm - meditation helps heaps if you can find a nice group of people to meditate with.
Your hypothyroidism is probably like mine too - caused by autoimmunity not just by hormonal imbalance. Doctors don't seem to be too good at treating hypothyroidism either.

Comment by Andrea Klimaszewski on September 12, 2013 at 9:30am

I have had AU for 3 1/2 years now. 2 years+ of that I was bald head to toe. Not even one little piece of fuzz on my body. I started receiving my first round of injections over a year ago. I was very successful in growing back all of my hair "head to toe." Once it was all filled in, my doctor stopped the shots. It fell back out. So we started the shots again and I, once again, have all of my hair back. I rotate the shots between both hips and both arms every time I go. I know a lot of people with any form of alopecia opt out of the shots because long term they really aren't healthy for you, but I guess I'm one of those likes to take chances. I will continue them for as long as my doctor lets me because having my hair back feels beyond amazing to me. My family doctor is watching me closely for side effects as well, which so far, I have had none. Now this isn't to say you wouldn't because as we know, everyone's bodies handles everything differently. So I will continue the shots for as long as my doctor allows me. I wish you a lot of luck with whichever treatment you decide to pursue.

Comment by Angell on September 12, 2013 at 2:58pm

I have to say that I have extreme discomfort all over my body. Sensitivity, itching to the point of almost raw from scratching, big reaction to sun and heat. Starr, my hair all fell out during a very rough few years, as well. With the medical problems I already had plus the constant stress, my immune system reacted with AA, a slight remission, then full AU. The only place I grow any hair is under my arms. Have to be careful removing that. A razor bruises and burns my skin. God's little joke, I guess.......Andrea, I am glad your treatments work for you and very glad that your doctor is keeping a close eye on you, hopefully including constant checks on your whole pulmonary system. God bless us all.

Comment by Gabe on September 12, 2013 at 3:02pm

My experience with AA is going on 3 years now but since the worst of this condition, I have experienced about 90% regrowth (this is after experiencing an 80%+ loss all over scalp, patches on eyebrows, and spots on legs). The only spot left is the first one to rear its ugly head at the base of my occiput. Oddly, I have noticed a correlation with my allergies and AA but all the doctors and specialists I have encountered have brushed it aside like its a coincidence. Clobetasol and Rogaine were primary treatment options without much success. The steroid injections were an immediate success with regrowth in most of the spots treated. The problem with that is I had such fast amounts of hairloss, that injections were done over the course of 6 months, 4 times, and it still wasnt enough to treat everything. My immediate side effects were acne, and what I would call roid rage though I know that I was not taking anabolics, the hormonal effects were prominent and noticeable. Fast forward 6 more months and most of the hair had grown back in the treated areas but I started experiencing extreme acne from what I think the steroids excreting back out from my scalp. It was horrible but after a few months it subsided thankfully! With that said and the mini bio out of the way, I want to let you know what gave me the best results. As I mentioned, my allergies were always part of the equation but never factored in by the doctors. In the last 3 years, I have experienced the most severe sinus and now respiratory problems of my entire life. I am 35 and havn't had difficulty with allergies my entire life. Now not a day goes by without coughing, sneezing, itching, rashes, or near hospitalizing asthma attacks. I went back to a general doctor about 6 more months after experiencing the tramatic acne for a sinus and ear infection I had surely acquired from surfing. She put me up on antibiotics and also oral steroids. I had an immediate regrowth in every remaining area on my body, skin cleared up, and all allergy symptoms vanished! I was told of the horrible side effects of oral steroids, but honestly the injections were far more severe. Hope this helps and my heart goes out to all of you in our community. Stay positive, hopeful, and always remember that you are far more than the flesh which entombs you. Peace, Love, and Metta!!!!!

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