I wanted to share my story with those struggling with their alopecia. I am currently a 16 year-old high school sophomore  and I want to tell you that there is in fact hope. In 6th grade and again in the beginning of this year, I had alopecia areata, which resulted in all of my hair being lost. I know the anguish, feelings of being ostracized, endless shame and lack of self-confidence. However, through the dermatology center at the University of California Irvine, I now have a full head of hair and am trying my best to balance my stress in my life.

Allow me to start at the beginning. My entire experience started when I was in 6th grade and I started to notice my hair coming out in clumps near the back end of my head. My mother soon noticed and my family became quite concerned about me. We started to go to a dermatologist and reverse the process through shots. 

All seemed well until the beginning of around June of 2013. Family issues, extracurricular obligations, and constant school pressures all factored into my second wave of alopecia areata. My hair rapidly fell out and soon I had only had a few random strands. I was infinitely ashamed and my self-confidence collapsed. I became very depressed and would only go outside wearing a hat. Often, I would avoid social contact with friends and family as much as possible. I felt that at that time that there was no chance of things getting better and I would have to accept my new self somehow. In anguish, I would stare back at the image in the mirror and think, "Who is that?" I hated my body and wanted to strike back at life for being so unfair. 

My mother and brothers understood my pain and decided to take me to the UCI Dermatology Center. The medical doctors there also felt for me and said they would do as much as possible to try to get my hair back. Over the next 4-6 months, I underwent this treatment known as "DPCP." This involved arousing an allergic reaction to my body, first through my arm and then applied to my bald head. The concept behind this was to draw away the virus cells in my body from mistakingly attacking my growing hair follicles and instead focus on the introduced allergic reaction. This process slowly started to produce results, and before I knew it, I'm back to my normal self.

Keep in mind I do not want to spread any false hope for a "magic cure." This process has had extreme success with some patients such as myself, but not for everyone. What I'm trying to get across is that I've been there at the lowest point in life where I wondered what the point of even living was. I had constant pits of depression and even contemplated ending my own life. So know that you are not alone in your suffering and there is hope at the end of the tunnel, whether it be accepting yourself for who you are, outreaching to your family and friends, and whatever your own method is for showing life that you are beautiful.

Views: 236

Comment by Aimee on May 2, 2014 at 12:44pm

Wow, Jason, what a story! I am so happy for you.  I have had AU for about 5 years.  I lost all of my hair right before I turned 40!  I think it must be harder for kids/teens to have alopecia than to develop it as an adult.

I have heard of DPCP and have chosen not to go that route.  From what I can tell on this site, people have had mixed results with it.  I like that you're not saying it's a magic cure, but are telling your story in case other people would like to go this route.  Enjoy the rest of your sophomore year!

Comment by spettro on May 3, 2014 at 12:33pm

...ending your own life??  Damn, I think you're more a danger to yourself than AA could ever be.  I'm glad everything worked out in the end.

Comment by Sabrina on May 4, 2014 at 9:56am
Im currently on the DCPC compound. I havent seen any results yet but I am wishful!
Comment by newlydiagnosed on May 8, 2014 at 4:09am

Thanks for sharing your story...the unhappiness, the not recognizing myself...feeling so dam n hideous and wondering what I ever did wrong to deserve this crap...its all familiar

Comment by lajos on May 17, 2014 at 2:36pm
I'm glade that dcpc helped you I didn't hade know reaction.and it burns the folic caps

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