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Jeremy
Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 11:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hello

I started losing hair on my right temple area in September and went to the doctor. He gave me Propecia which I have been taking since then. In late November the hair in front on top started thinning and now is about 1/3 as thick as it was originally. It has also thinned on the sides around the ears and in a few spots on top and in the back. By now the hair on the right temple has grown back but is thin. All the doctors I have seen have just wanted me to wait to see what happens.

I have a few theories. I guess it could be pattern baldness, but it has happened so fast. What I have noticed is that once hair falls out there is none to replace it. This seems abnormal to me.

Could not getting enough calcium be a factor? I became lactose intolerant all of a sudden in October and did not take supplements until just recently. I also tanned in sunbeds and it seemed to fall out most rapidly at these times.

I was also taking protein, vitamin, and mineral supplements for weightlifting. I suddenly stopped this in August. Could this be a factor?

When I saw a little hair fall out I got really stressed out and have been since September. Does any of this sound like it could be a factor? Is there anything I can ask a doctor to test? I've had a blood test and my thyroid is fine. I am really desperately seeking answers.
 

Tom Hagerty (Admin)
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 10:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Jeremy:

Because your hair loss was very rapid and in several areas there is the possibility that you have alopecia areata. The early stages of alopecia areata are hard to diagnose - and certainly no one can diagnose it on the Internet. Perhaps that's why your doctor wants to wait and see what happens. By far the best Web site to visit if you want good, unbiased information on alopecia areata is Keratin.com. On this site Kevin McElwee will give you all the knowledge you'll need to make informed treatment decisions.

You asked what other test might be useful. The thyroid test was important, but you said that the result of this was OK. Another test that might be useful is "serum ferritin level" although this test is usually more relevant to female hair loss. Anyway, if you have time, on this discussion forum click on Female Pattern Baldness and then on "borderline" anemia and hair loss. The more you know about these topics, the better when you see a doctor. Many people feel that doctors respect you more and spend more time with you when you come prepared.

I don't think that calcium is a factor but of course, as you wrote, you quickly went off supplements. There are sometimes withdrawal symptoms when you go off heavy doses of supplements. Sudden hair loss, though, is not one of them.

Just a couple of things about tanning beds. Both types of ultraviolet radiation damage the skin. UVB penetrates 17 to 50 micrometers into the skin and can cause sunburn or tanning. The UVA, which you get in tanning salons, penetrates 165 to 250 micrometers into the skin and gives you a nice tan - but it also ages the skin and makes it more susceptible to skin cancer. It does this by damaging the DNA in the skin cell nucleous and by damaging the skin cell membranes. Hair follicles are really just specialized skin cells. Anything that damages skin cells damages hair follicles. There is research now that definitely finds a positive correlation between UVA damage of skin cells and hair loss.

One thing I wish you would do - read My Approach. You're a weightlifter or a bodybuilder. I think this page of my Web site will make sense to you. The scalp exercise will not help you, though, if you have alopecia areata which most specialists think is an autoimmune disease. But if it is determined that you have male pattern baldness, the exercise could help you.
 

Jeremy
Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2002 - 03:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Tom
Thank you for your help so far. The infomation you gave me helped me out when I saw my general doctor. HE ruled out alopecia areata and gave me a test for sebum ferritin and "heavy metal" levels The ferritin was ok I guess the heavy metals takes a little while. Since i posted the first message I have continued to lose a great deal of hair. at this rate if it is male pattern baldness I would imagine I will go from no one being able to tell (except me) to the horseshoe pattern by sometime in summer, The front line is really getting thin and it is rapidly thinning down the center from the top back to the front. Is this rate to abnormal. I have asked my doctor many times now and he either doesn't care or doesn't know because he really does not know a lot about the hair. He just keeps promoting propecia. I was wadering about tellogen effluvian I really do not know alot about it, but I read somewhere that it possible to develop ecxzema or ecxzema like coditions which i have had since the beginning of my hair loss. About 7 or 8 months ago i noticed that first loss on the side but the thinning started only 3 months ago. My hair loss is so rapid and I still have about a month before i have an appointment with a good dermatologist. Maybe you have more information or any ideas i can look into. Also neither rogaine or propecia has done much. I got a liitle regrowth but it did not help with the thinning.
 

Tom Hagerty (Admin)
Posted on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 09:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Jeremy:

Too bad you're not the President - then you could see a good dermatologist immediately. That one-month wait is going to seem like forever if your rapid hair loss continues. A general doctor might have a hard time diagnosing your condition because often there is very little distinction between androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness) and telogen effluvium in the early stages of these types of hair loss. A good dermatologist, though, can often make a tentative diagnosis by looking at the structure of the hairs, and what percent of these hairs are in telogen, which is the resting stage of the hair cycle. In the normal scalp usually 10 percent of the hairs are in telogen. If the percentage of hair follicles in telogen goes up to, say, 20, then it is probable that you have telogen effluvium.

I'm certainly not even hinting at a diagnosis here. I'm just trying to give you some information so that you can discuss your problem with the specialist who I hope will sspend more that fifteen minutes with you.

The dermatologist will probably be concerned with trigger factors if he suspects telogen effluvium. Some possible trigger factors are: ultraviolet radiation (you told me that you spend time in tanning beds), crash diets, excessive vitamin A, thyroid problems (you said your thyroid was OK), severe emotional stress, and many others.

You mentioned eczema. This is more a symptom than a disease. The dermatologist will look at this closely and try to determine what's causing this, and perhaps your rapid diffuse hair loss.

If it is determined that you have telogen effluvium, you'll be glad to know that the condition is usually not permanent. Once the trigger is removed, the hair follicles recover, but the recovery may be slow - many months.

If you had alopecia areata, the prognosis, would be more pessimistic since this is a disease in which the immune system is involved. The immune system is not involved in telogen effluvium.

In the personal e-mail you sent to me, you asked if I still do bodybuilding exercises. Every morning when I get up I do a lot of ab and lower back work. I also use light dumbbells for my upper body. Three times a week I do some "heavy" ballroom dancing. This takes care of my legs - and my social life.

When I was in my teens I was a dedicated bodybuilder. I moved to Muscle Beach and worked out daily. I also would swim the mile between the Santa Monica Pier and the Venice pier several times a week. At night I played chess at the Santa Monica Chess Club. And of course there were interesting women everywhere in beach society. Those were good days. But these days are good too with the exception of September 11 and its aftermath. As I suggested before, if you do get into the bodybuilding lifestyle, stay away from the steroids or the supplements that may have dangerous chemicals in them.
 

Anonymous
Posted on Friday, April 12, 2002 - 10:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Can a Severly dry scalp cause hairloss? I am thinning and my scalp is very dry. I also have eczema. I dont know if it is also in my scalp it does itch in the front sometimes and its a little red. When I wash my hair it gets so dry my scalp feel scaily and tight, and I can see skin shedding, my scalp skin peels like im a snake peeling out of its skin. Conditioner does not help either. Not only am I thinning but my scalp feels uncomfortable. I also use hairspray I dont know if that irritaes a dry scalp. Any advice? Thanks.
 

Tom Hagerty (Admin)
Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2002 - 10:24 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Anonymous:

It might be a good idea to see a dermatologist. You wrote, "...my scalp skin peels like I'm a snake peeling out of its skin." Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that causes this type of scaling. A deramtologist could determine if you have this disease or rule it out.

If you just have a severe form of dandruff, I wish you would read this page on my Web site: Dandruff. This long page will give you all the information you need about what causes dandruff and what alleviates dandruff once you have it.
 

John Strom
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 11:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Tom
I have been reading many of the postings..thanks for this forum.
I'm a 48 yr old male. About 10 months ago I first noticed thinning hair to the touch all over my head. I assumed it was TE because l had major stress all of 2002, plus my girlfriend dumped me, and then I went on a fast diet (60 lbs in 2 1/2 months). I had a dermotologist check it in July 2003 and he said it wasnt MPB (how he could tell ???), he looked at a few hairs and said it was TE. But this is now December, and it has continually thinned. Its especially most evident on the front sides, and more thinning in the front top now. Overall, my hair still feels "thin".
I have had my testosterone and DHT levels checked at a lab, and they are both below the low end of the normal range.
I'm fearing its MPB, but why would it kick-in so much this year, and not gradually over the years? Especially when my dht is very low?
Any insight?
thanks, John
 

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - 12:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

John:

It's often hard to differentiate between the early stages of both telogen effluvium and male pattern baldness.

When you went on that crash diet, you were losing about six pounds a week. This plus the stress in your life could have triggered TE. But neither I nor anyone on the Internet can give you a definitive diagnosis or even prognosis.

"I'm fearing its MPB, but why would it kick-in so much this year, and not gradually over the years?"

The problem with any type of hair loss is that it's variable. Sometimes there are periods of stabilization and sometimes there are periods of shedding. MPB is progressive in the long term, though, unless something is done to halt its progress. TE is usually not progressive - it's not a life sentence - but the regrowth of hair often tries one's patience.
 

Anonymous
Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 12:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi,

Just stumbled upon this site and was hoping you could shed some light.....

I had a baby one year ago and understand that postpartum hair loss is to be expected. My hair continues to look rather thin in the front of my hairline or "bangs" area. I was hopeful that by a year out, my thickness would have returned. Would the pregnancy or delivery have triggered any permanent balding (by the way, there is no female balding in my family)?

Hopeful for some good news!
chris
 

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 09:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Anonymous:

Postpartum hair loss is usually a diffuse thinning all over the scalp. It's a type of telogen effluvium. This almost always resolves itself within six months after delivery. You wrote, "My hair continues to look rather thin in the front of my hairline..." Is your hair thin in just one area? Have you seen any improvement in your hair in the last months? A year is a long time. Sometimes telogen effluvium can progress into female pattern thinning.

"Hopeful for some good news!"

Spring is around the corner and the politians will be entertaining us.
 

joseph
Posted on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 05:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

"I started losing hair on my right temple area in September and went to the doctor. He gave me Propecia which I have been taking since then. In late November the hair in front on top started thinning and now is about 1/3 as thick as it was originally. It has also thinned on the sides around the ears and in a few spots on top and in the back. By now the hair on the right temple has grown back but is thin. All the doctors I have seen have just wanted me to wait to see what happens...I have a few theories. I guess it could be pattern baldness, but it has happened so fast. What I have noticed is that once hair falls out there is none to replace it. This seems abnormal to me...When I saw a little hair fall out I got really stressed out and have been since September."

this sounds a lot like what i'm experiencing right now. do you have scalp burning too? i do. my hair was very very thick, and it started falling out one day in large amounts, almost like a 2a as you said and now the overall feel of it is thinner. it seemed to coincide with me getting really really stressed out at work, to the point of insomnia and anxiety attacks.
 

Anonymous
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2004 - 07:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi

I am 15 years old and I have alopecia areata is this normal for a 15 year old male to have this and how did I get it could it be from cloring my hair or is it nereve damage or not enough air to my scalp I play alot of baseball and football so is it not enough hair and I would like to know if its from that

thak you
 

pete
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2004 - 11:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

"I am 15 years old and I have alopecia areata is this normal for a 15 year old male to have this and how did I get it could it be from cloring my hair or is it nereve damage or not enough air to my scalp I play alot of baseball and football so is it not enough hair and I would like to know if its from that "

For Alopecia Areata problems - look into Elias's site as this could be the alternative solution you are looking for : www.alopecia.eu.com


For Dry Skin - research into Evening Primrose oils and Fish oils ( for inflammation ) with Zinc


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