My discussion post is confused coz that's exactly how I'm feeling. Where did it start, well maybe April 2014, contributing factors stress because of my brother being jailed, a horrendous throat (tonsil) infection which didn't clear up for months, stopping smoking at around the same time or having a tooth infection and eventually tooth extracted. After reading extensively about causes I guess all these may have caused my alopecia, I just hope so many contributing factors doesn't mean I'm headed for AU, I guess time will tell.

It started with one patch in my beard on either side but they gradually grew and joined up. I currently have no beard on my throat at all and it is up almost to my moustache, which is getting worrying. I also have 6 spots on my head which are large, I can just about cover them with my hair but don't think will be able to do much longer as they are getting bigger. I also noticed my right eyebrow has a circle in it which is getting bigger.

It has been 2 months since I noticed white hair growing in my beard, was hope full at first but they haven't changed colour or thicker. They are similar to arm hair. I'm confused because I don't know what to expect, how long does it take for white hair to get back to normal, people are recommending Chinese medicine, the doctor always sends me back home and says don't worry it will be ok, I have never had long hair and loved my stubble never being clean shaved, now I'm having to grow my hair and clean shave I feel as if I'm losing my identity and can not comprehend being bold as it just wouldn't suit me at all, aaaaarggghhhhhh what can I do, who can I turn to!

I'm sorry for going on and on but I think I'm heading towards a dark place!

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I have read story after story here; what I have discovered is this condition is different for everyone.

Nobody wants to lose their hair and none of us asked for this, but like anyone who finds themselves challenged with whatever life throws at them, we have to somehow and at some point figure out how to deal with the change. I am thankful this doesn't hurt and won't kill me and I can live my life as I always have, I just look different than I used to. I have given thought to what I would rather have than AA, and come up empty. I have thought about what I would give up to have my hair back and can think of nothing, no person, hobby, talent, or skill, that I would want to live without. Perhaps I never thought of my hair as being part of my identity; perhaps my identity came from the things I do, the beliefs I held, and the people I had around me. I never judge people by how they look; my friends are a mixed bag of anything you can think of with one thing in common...they are all good people who accept the "new" me.

I have been depressed once over this and that was the third time I discovered my hair falling out; this was after the best re-growth I've ever had. I felt very ashamed for feeling that way as I had three friends dealing with cancer, two in relapse and one terminal. But, we cannot help how we feel, no matter how bad we feel about feeling bad. The bout of depression didn't last even though this time I went from AA to AU. Coming here, reading the experience of others, some of us seem better equipped to handle this than others. I feel life is too wonderful and precious to waste thinking about what was and beating my head against a wall looking for answers when sometimes there just aren't any.

Be patient with the hair that is growing back; I think it will change. The problem with re-growth is it takes along time and it is spotty. It is not the same as shaving your head and it grows back all at once. My hair has come back twice; sorry to have to tell anyone it was not permanent. I had shots the first 2 times, so I thought that worked for me; they did not work this time so the doctor has put me on Plaquenil. I am experiencing some re-growth, but too soon to tell if it will be successful. I am not worrying about what will happen; I accepted this as my life during the first bout 3 years ago (I was 58); so happy this happened late in life, but I'm positive I'll be dealing with this for another 30 years (my parents are 84 and 90). One thing I am certain about is, even if my hair grows back, it is going to fall out again.

Everybody here has struggled with a future of dealing with this and have looked for reasons as to why they have it and how to combat it. I can offer support, tell you my experience, but you will be on your own, different, journey, which can be a roller-coaster ride at times.

I wish you well; good luck.

P.S. Have you been to a dermatologist?

Hey Pam, firstly I would like to thank you for taking time out to read my post and responding. I felt so humbled by reading your response and that you have learned to cope with this illness and blossom in your life. You are right, AA is not the end of the world and people are in a far worse situation than me including members of my own family.

Change is difficult for some and not for others but and at 36 i am going to have to learn to live with it and change if needs be. It is difficult not thinking about it because it is there to constantly remind you but I guess you get to a stage when your survival instinct kicks in and you accept what is happening and learn to adapt. I hope this day is sooner than later for me :).

I did go and see a different doctor today who has referred me to a dermatologist at the hospital, next is probably going to be the shots, how was your experience with these? I did try dithranol (anthralin) which I had to get sent from abroad because the doctors wouldn't prescribe it here in the uk. Not had re growth with this yet and I don't think the re growth in my beard is from this. I use it on my head, I used it on my beard but ended up looking like half a tomato so stopped using it on my face :)

Hi Amr1

Not sure if you're still on here or not but I wanted to share the fact that my daughter (who is a month away from her second birthday) started with Alopecia Areata 2 months ago, after a bout of bad tonsilitus. She's had 3 occurrences in the last 2 months and each time loses more and more hair. I'm seeing an ENT surgeon to get her tonsils removed. I think there's a definite correlation between the two.

I hope your hair has come back now.

Best regards

Sara

Good luck, Sara.

Hi sara,

sorry to hear about your daughter and i hope she makes a speedy recovery. As for me i havent got a hair left on my body except for hundreds of spikey, short white hair on my scalp. Its been 2 years and they havent re pigmentated or grown so im not overly excited about them. I have sort of accepted that my hair is not going to grow back and i think eyebrow and eyelashes are the worst for me, would love to get them back atleast. Trying to pinpoint what triggered my AU is hard, i had tonsilitis, noro virus, extreme bout of stress, stomach problems just prior to my AU starting so could have been any one if those. I truly pray that your daughters hair grows back as she is still little bless her, u tk care and let me lnow of her progress

Sorry to hear Amr1 that two years later there has been no improvement. The re-growth I was experiencing back then has been slow, very slow. It has taken that long for my eyelashes and nose hair to grow back 75%; my eyebrows are just starting to grow. I also have those white vellus hairs all over my scalp along with some "real" hair...the only way I can distinguish the two is the real hair is long and the vellus hair is short...I had a lot of grey coming in before I lost it. 

Like you, it is a mystery to me as to why I lost my hair, especially so late in life. I have done all the recommended treatments but nothing worked. The only thing I have changed in the last two years is being (mostly) gluten-free (can't do the sandwich bread) vitamins (D3, B complex, and green tea extract). I don't know if any of these things have helped, it could be a coincidence, but the regrowth I have coincides with the changes I made. I'm going to keep going with it and see what happens. The growth is mostly sparse (except for my eyelashes- top 95-100%, bottom about 50%) and nose (75%) but what I had three years ago was nothing. 

Take care and good luck. 

Hi pam,  glad to hear you have some regrowth, i did try the gluten free diet which did help with my stomach problems but find it very difficult to stick with it. I have unfortunatly also developed vitiligo which is slowly spreading so things have been tough. These conditions which have altered the way i look were getting me down and depressed but i recently developed cauda equina syndrome which resulted in two big ops, a non working bladder and mobility issues. I was close to being permanently paralysed and things could have been much worse. This has kind of put things into perspective. Okay i dont have hair and my skin is changing colour but these things are cosmetic and dont affect my health. If people dont like the way i look then thats there loss, iv learnt to live with my new appearance and people around me know i am a honest and caring individual so thats all that matters. Dont get me wrong i still miss my hair immensly and will wait until a cure is available. I also think the gut and auto immune issues are defo related. I had a biopsy for celiac disease and was fine but still think there is a link, anyways sorry for rambling on, u take care and i hope you get your hair back as soon as x

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