Anyone with alopecia areata experience?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by LittleDudesMom, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am so, so, so worried about easy child. Just in the last ten days she has begun to loose large amounts of hair. She has little circular bald spots. So far, they are all covered by existing hair but it is alarming to lift the hair and see them. We have an appointment with a dermodoc on thursday am, but I researched on the net before making an appointment.

    I used a flow chart type dxtic with questions and pictures - but I kinda felt that's what is was. I am so worried that she will loose all her hair. She's 16, her hair is such a big part of her style. I can tell she is really worried to. I just want to hug her tight. She sent me a text message from school today with alittle unhappy face and a message that read "I'm going bald". I just wanted to cry. I told her not to assume anything yet and keep her beautiful smile. Then I wanted to cry again when the first two dermodocs told me it would be summer before a new patient could get in :grrr:.

    Finally, the third dermodoc's office really listened to me and asked questions, spoke with the doctor, then called me back and said the doctor would fit her in on thursday morning.

    Just wanted to know if anyone has experienced this problem or known someone who has been through it. Apparently there are medical techniques that can help stimulate growth in some cases, but there is no cure and no real known cause. Could grow back, could not. Could all fall out, or stop where it is now.

  2. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    <span style='font-size: 11pt'>Poor kid. I'm sorry to say I don't know much about this. I'm sure she is upset. Hugs to her and you.</span>
  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I'm so sorry, Sharon. It would be horrible at any age, and devastating at 16.

    I used to work with a gal who didn't have any hair. She wore wigs and drew in eyebrows. She didn't wear fake eyelashes- just had none. I assumed it was alopecia but don't know that for a fact.

    I hope this doctor has a treatment. Stress can also cause huge hair loss- certainly worrying about it now could make it worse. Was she under particular stress when it started happening?

  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks Fran.

    Suz, she was not under any extraordinary stress these last couple weeks. I have no answers. I hope the doctor does better than that on thursday!!!

  5. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I had a neighbor who had this and she used wigs and makeup to hide it. but I would not rush to a diagnosis there are other causes for hair loss. It could also be her thyroid. Also, has she been trying to loose weight? I had a friend who was dieting aggressively that started loosing her hair. The doctor made her adjust her eating and it cleared up. I am glad you are seeing a dr. soon. hopefully he will be able to give you the answers you need. -RM
  6. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My sister's sister in law had this. It did end up growing back but did take some time. I know it was more emotional than anything else for her.
    Poor easy child, she must be scared. Give her big hugs!

    And for you, mom, here are some hugs for your fears as well.

  7. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    I don't know much about this. I had a friend where I used to work that has it but she was born with no hair and stayed that way so I'm sure hers is different.

    I'm sure it is traumatizing to a teenager. Poor kid.

    Maybe it isn't alopecia.... may be some strange allergy?

    Give her a big hug from all of us.

  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I had a boyfriend who had a fairly mild case that affected his beard. No one would know because he stayed clean shaven. I googled "hair loss" and came upon this:
    *Tinea capitis: is a scalp infection that is caused by a fungus. It can cause patches of hair loss, with broken off hairs (black dot ringworm), scales, enlarged lymph glands, or the formation of a kerion, a large, red, boggy nodule on the scalp. Your doctor may do a KOH examination of the hairs, have a fungal culture done, or he may just treat your child with an antifungal agent, such as griseofulvin. These medicines are taken for at least 6 weeks, usually with fatty meals which can help it to be absorbed better. You can also wash your child's hair with a shampoo that contains selenium sulfide at least twice a week to make him less contagious.
    *Trichotillomania: this is a condition in which a child actually pulls the hair out, leaving an irregular patch of hair loss with broken off hairs of different sizes. It can be a habit, especially in times of stress.
    *Traction alopecia: this occurs when hair is braided too tight, or other tight hairstyles.
    *Alopecia areata: children with this condition have a complete loss of hair in one to three areas of the scalp, without scalp redness or scaling. Another finding can be pitting of the nails in children with this condition. Although there is no reliable treatment for this condition, most children will have regrowth of the hair on their own within a year.
    *Telogen effluvium: this usually occurs in young infants as a part of the normal process in which mature hair replaces baby hair. It can also occur in older children, usually a few months after an illness, and it is caused by the hair growth cycle being interrupted, with many hairs moving from a growing state to a resting state. As many hairs are shed, you may notice diffuse hair loss and it may seem like all of your child's hair is falling out, but there should be no other signs of infection or inflammation. The hair usually grows back in about 6 months.
    *Congenital alopecia: newborns can have small areas of hair loss that are present from birth from a few different conditions, including aplasia cutis congenita and nevus sebaceous, a yellow-orange birthmark.
    *Scarring alopecia: some conditions, including trauma or inflammatory reactions on the scalp can lead to scar formation, inside which hair does not grow, causing a bald spot on the scalp.
  9. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    There is a link to gluten intolerance and alopecia. See

    I read a lot on a gluten intolerance board and there are people there who get their hair back after going gluten free.

    I hope there is another, easier answer for your easy child.

    I have a friend who noticed she was losing a lot of hair when she used shampoo with wheat in it. She never got to the point of having bald spots, but it would be easy to try a different shampoo.
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't know much about this at all-but am keeping your easy child in my prayers-hugs to you both.
  11. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hey,thanks everyone. It means a lot knowing that I have your thoughts and support. easy child was pretty upbeat yesterday after school and work. I keep praying the same prayer several times a day - just that the hair loss stops at this point and doesn't get worse. I don't care what she has - we'll deal - I just don't want it to get worse.

    Thanks again you guys.

  12. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    My hair fell out due to hormones. Grew back. What about thyroid? Hopefully it will only be stress or something simple. Must be scarey.
  13. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    When we were going through the worst of it with the kids, husband developed smooth, perfectly circular bald spots on his head and in his beard.

    When the hair grew back in (and it did not come back for a long time) it was white.

    husband was in his late thirties at the time.

    Interestingly enough, the hair grew back despite the fact that, by the time it did, we were going through even worse things with the kids ~ but they were older, and husband did not feel the same disappointment in himself because he had not been able to protect them.

    Does your daughter feel a sense of responsibility to difficult child, or feel she has let him down in some way?

    Could you think of some ways she might feel empowered to help difficult child?

  14. Neha

    Neha Guest

    i waz just googling alopecia areata and ur post came up andi read it and i wanted to sign up to reply to this.. after i signed up i saw that this post is 3 years old and this website is for parents only. but im a teenager... so ur daughter has (had) alopecia and now she is 19 years old.. wat is her condition now? i have alopecia areata since i waz 6 months old on and off... i currently have it since i waz 8 and never fully grew my hair back after that... i hope ur daughter if fine now... alopecia harms u more emotionally than physically or mentally.. my mom always says to be thankful its not worse :)... all of my best wishes r with u and ur daughter.. i know exactly wat she is goign through (hopefully went thru).. :)
  15. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    wow! I was so surprised to see this post again! Actually sweetie, her alopecia ended up being a parasite (after having a scalp biopsy) and was treated with oral medication. It took about a month or so after starting the medication for some "peach fuzz" to begin to grow. When all was said and done, she lost about 60% of her hair but it is all grown back now.

    I agree Neha that the emotional end of of alopecia is much worse than the physical. You hang in there girl - it's clear from your post that you are a caring and mature young woman. Time will show that who you are inside is so much more important that what is on the outside. And mom is right - it could be worse. I know that doesn't make you feel any better, it's just what us moms say when we are thankful our children are healthy. She obviously loves you and that is a great blessing. Hugs.