I was diagnosed about six weeks ago with Alopecia Areata. This disease is very new to me. I tried the steroid solution and it just irritated my skin. Yesterday (4/23) was my first time getting the steroid shots. I was given 7. So how many of you have tried the steroid shots? If these shots do not work I am considering getting a biopsy done just to see what is going on and making sure there are not any other auto immune disease effecting my system. Also what has everyone been trying for their hair? For shampoo I am trying non scented baby shampoo and coconut with vitamin E conditioner. Have any of you ever noticed that a certain medication has made it worse? And for the ladies, has birth control made it worse for you? I am at a point where I would like to keep the hair I have because i still have quite a bit on my head left. So if you have any ideas or suggestions I would love to hear them!!

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Comment by You can do it : ) on April 24, 2012 at 7:46pm

I have been using the injections for a while. I find that any type of conditioner makes my hair thinner and fall out. Herbal essence is very bad for my hair. I find that pantene works for my hair, at one point I was using a shampoo called organix it is expesnsive but it worked for awhile; though I found if I use it like every day it doesn't do much. My doctor told me to rotate shampoos.
Good luck

Comment by Tallgirl on April 24, 2012 at 11:26pm

I hadn't had alopecia for over 15 years (it all grew in at age 20), then tried birth control for just a few weeks after 2 kids (I was married) in my mid-30s, and my hair started falling out again. Hair was lush at both pregnancies and births. Doctor told me to stop the BC IMMEDIATELY, so I did. Too late. I went to AT, then AU, then AT again, and am now suddenly losing all my leg and arm hair again (Stress? Petting my grandson's puppy? Change in water at work? Who knows.) after not having such loss since 1998. I offer caution on the birth control or any chemicals in the system with this condition.

When I started AA at age 10, the dermatologist had me using a tar shampoo. I hated that smell. Haven't tried it since. That doc also had me using UV treatments and creams on my spots. The 1960s were strange.

Teen years: shots, cortesone, prednisone. I think AA hair comes back on its own in 3 months, so the docs always tell you the shots will work in 3 months. Convenient.

My hair all grew in at 20 with plain old NO MEDS but lots of wine and beer and dancing at college...away from home.

Comment by Cristina E on April 25, 2012 at 3:14am

I'd love to follow your progress with the shots. I, too, just had my first injections. The doctor finally caved in after seeing my frustration. He told me the spots on my sides are too big to treat, but did inject the small area at the nape of my neck and in my bangs. I go back in a month. This is the worst I have ever had to deal with it. My daughter , at the age of two, also lost her hair. We tried the topical creams on her and they were no use. It finally grew back healthy and thick for her. I have quite a bit still that I am still able to cover most spots, for now. Good Luck

Comment by Mariah on April 25, 2012 at 10:35am

I lost all of my hair when I was three years old, and for some reason it all grew back. When I was in about fourth grade I started losing hair again and had large bald spots all over my head. I got the injections quickly and the bald spots on my head went away. Still today (at 19 years old) I don't have bald spots on my head. The injections did nothing for my eyebrows though.
I have also been told my someone with alopecia totalia that when I get pregnant, I will lose all of my hair. This doesn't answer your questions about birth control, but it's just food for thought.

Comment by Erika on April 25, 2012 at 4:40pm

I really appreciate everyone's feedback! I know they do not have a lot of answers but I feel like if we all share what we have tried it might help some us even if it didn't work for someone else. This disease is kind of like a spoiled brat!

Comment by Bald and Fabulous AKA Terri on April 26, 2012 at 12:37pm

Hi Erika. I have done injections for many years (10 yrs). For a time they did work, when I was just patchy. But in later years when my hair loss was faster than regrowth, the injections had a hard time catching up. I think you should definitely get a biopsy done to rule out anything else. With the birth control question, my GP actually mentioned to go on them to help with hair growth. But it all has to do with the individual and whats going on with their bodies. My aunt years ago sent me info that she found after her daughter was diagnosed with cystic ovaries, one of the symptoms is hair loss and to treat it is to go on birth control. Alopecia, even as an autoimmune disease, effects people differently at different stages. Myself, I have been living with this disease for 29 yrs. The first couple of years I was AT, then my hair grew back. For 20+ years I was AA. Sometimes the patches were small and forgettable, other times and especially later on, the patches were big and harder to ignore. For 10 yrs I did aggressive treatments, solutions, creams, injections, acupuncture, etc. For the last 3 yrs I have been AU. With my scalp the last of it to go.
Keep faith, stay strong and know that you are not alone. As individual as our journeys might be, we all know the emotions that you experience

Comment by Emily Horsley on April 27, 2012 at 4:14am

I had the steroid shots as a teenager when I had AA, only affecting about 5 - 10% of my head. They did nothing for me, just made it painful to lie on for a few days after. Evening Primrose with starflower oil capsules made the hair I still had stronger but didn't make any of the patches grow back. Also, it's really tempting to keep your hair long to cover the patches when actually having a shorter style can prevent further loss as hair gets less tangled etc :)

Comment by Kathryn on April 27, 2012 at 3:21pm

Hi Erika,
I am sorry about your diagnosis. This can be a difficult time, especially with the unpredictability with this frustrating condition.

I had a biopsy done when I was first diagnosed, and it was very reassuring for me to be able to rule out other conditions. I recommend it.

It seems to me that if your AA is less than 50% of your head, shots would be a viable treatment. Most people report success with the shots.

I strongly believe that there is a connection with hormone levels and AA. There seem to be many reports of AA striking during a time of hormone fluctuation, whether it be puberty, child birth, pregnancy, starting birth control, or in my case, menopause. Have you just started birth control, or changed it?

You are wise to join this website to seek information and support. NAAF can also be a good resource. Good luck!

Comment by jackie ronning on April 28, 2012 at 7:22pm

Hi Erika, I had AA at 16, then at 46 and again at 48. I had nothing at 16 because doctor said it was mono induced.It all grew back in the spots where it fell out in 6 months. At 46 I had steroid shots with success. I had them two years later as well. interestingly enough my aunt had AA at 45. I do know that both times in my 40s when this has happened I felt weak, very run-down and ill, just sick, almost like the mono. About a month after the hair fell out. Is there a connection? Who knows. I have tried to just be accepting of this. It is very hard though.I think if it does happen again I may get counseling just to help me deal with the stress. You may never get it again, there are no guarentees. Best of luck to you and just stay strong.

Comment by Erika on April 29, 2012 at 1:20pm

Thanksf!!

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