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Patchy Hair Loss or Alopecia Areata

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

One of our readers who is in her 30s has asked about Alopecia Areata or AA.  She says she has been using may different treatment either medical or herbal for her patchy hair loss in the last 20 years. She continues as: Hairs goes in patches from all over the body including eye brow and eye lashes, but additional thing with me is that I feel itching on the place from where hairs are going to fall with pain on the itching area too, then consequently within 1-2 days hairs falls and leaves red patch behind pains also gets disappeared.

After that I start using Diprovate lotion twice daily on affected area.  Hair comes within month then I stop using Diprovate.  But normally hair length goes to only 8-10 inches and then again hair loss same process going on since 1980. One thing I observed is that places of hair loss patches are almost fixed. One thing I also used some hormonal injections too but as usual no permanent remedy. Do you also feel pain before falling of hair on the place of hair fall on the scalp?  Generally I felt pain on scalp only though hair loss periods. Pain is only on scalp.

Having the episodes of patchy baldness could be the first sign of alopecia areata.  Although hair loss in a patchy form is usually considered alopecia areata or AA, the condition of this hair loss patient is not a typical one.  Alopecia areata is usually painless and the changes in skin shape and color is not that noticeable except for the hair loss.  There are some other hair loss conditions that may present themselves as patchy hair loss such as Cicatricial Alopecia in which an inflammatory reaction causes hair loss.

A hair loss diagnosis could be established through direct examination and biopsy of the scalp from hair loss lesions. My recommendation to this hair loss patient or anyone with similar balding problem is to visit a good dermatologist to confirm the diagnosis of this patchy hair loss condition.  Hair transplant is generally not indicated in many types of patchy hair losses, but a hair transplant doctor can discuss it further after examining patient’s scalp and hair or possibly scallp biopsy results.

Patchy Hair Loss

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

We received an email from one of our overseas patients in regards to his patchy hair loss. He describes that he has experienced these episodes since the age of 12 years. He is now 36 years old. They had attested his patchy hair loss to Alopecia Areata (AA) but his hair loss which was seen all over his body also included swelling, pain and discoloration. Throughout the years he had been prescribed with different types of topical medications as well as a hormonal injection treatment. All of these treatments did not permanently correct his situation but in most cases did give him temporary relief.

Our best assessment is that although he is experiencing patchy hair loss as is seen in Alopecia Areata (AA) this condition is normally painless and skin shape and color remain the same. Other forms of hair loss conditions with similar symptoms as his are more closely related to Alopecia Cicatricial. This skin condition inflames the affected area and causes hair loss in that same affected area. A good dermatologist can best diagnose these types of skin conditions by means of biopsy. After the assessment we can then give you the best plan of attack for future hair restoration.

If you have any similar questions on hair loss and hair restoration, please contact us through our California Hair Restoration website.