update on me, sad

Discussions about the diffuse thinning experienced by women, usually after menopause
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Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 7:34 am

update on me, sad

Post by mamaherrera »

I come to you, perhaps just to be comforted. I went to the derm today, after I continue to shed high amounts of hair. I've been on spironolactone for over a year for PCOS (100mg/day) I just feel my density is off. This dermatologist looked at my hair with his light on his head and told me I had parietal and vertex thinning 50% loss of hair. I almost thought I was going to die. I was upset to hear that he also told me that I have seborrheic dermatitis, which he didnt' diagnose, but rather it was in my medical chart and no doctor ever told me,. So here I was putting things on my scalp that were making it worse and I had no idea, nor was I treating it. He told me I also have androgenetic alopecia based on those thinning patterns. Now, I'll be honest, I don't see any thin spots. I didn't expect that as an answer per say. I just notice a loss of density but I never think I notice any thin spots. Do you think at 50% hair loss in an area, don't you think it would be visible to me??? Just wondering, it came to me as a shock to hear that. I know I have some hair loss, but I never thought I was that bad. It's only been four years since I noticed the high shedding. I'm 32. He also told me that seborrheic dermatitis can cause hair loss, is it that true? do you have an opinion on that? I see intermediate hairs, in my shed hairs, but like only one that would be a vellus hair, it was at 3 cm, but the other intermediate hairs were 4-7 cm long. Can those be changed back or is this just going to be worse? I'm sorry if I' come at you with so many questions, but I feel so alone and so lost. .. . any extra explanation and you sharing your knowledge is so very appreciated.
Tom Hagerty
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Re: update on me, sad

Post by Tom Hagerty »

I read through your message several times. I'd like to give you some helpful information but I don't know where to start because you have many problems. Perhaps some of your problems come from a poor diet. Of course I have no way of knowing that. I do know that a great diet of a variety of whole foods takes care of many skin and hair problems over time; a poor diet, even if you take a ton of vitamin pills, makes your skin and hair worse.

The medications (spironolactone for PCOS) and the topicals (ketoconazole for seborrheic dermatitis) might help ease some symptoms - I wouldn't count on a cure though. But what can a dermatologist do. He's there to give out perscriptions, not to monitor your diet or health habits.
He also told me that seborrheic dermatitis can cause hair loss, is it that true?
I suppose that all the inflammation of the scalp and therefore the hair follicles can produce hair loss but it's probably not permanent if you solve the problem. If I had your problem I would solve it by doing a lot of research and learning all about dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and seborrhea. In other words, I'd become my own doctor. My solution would probably be dietary, not the taking of more pills or the use of topicals, although some topicals like Nizoral might have some benefit.
Do you think at 50% hair loss in an area, don't you think it would be visible to me???
Unless you're legally blind I think you'd notice a 50 percent loss of hair.
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Re: update on me, sad

Post by Nonie »

Seborrheic Dermatitis can indeed cause hair loss in extreme cases. If I remember correctly, excessive sebum production and a yeast that lives on the scalp are to blame for it. (Just found an article that addresses these points: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001959/)

As Tom said, most doctors don't aim to cure a problem but seem to just treat symptoms. Like a lot of dermatologists will give cortisone shots for hair loss, which IMO are habit-forming and don't really fix the problem...but are more like putting on a Bandaid on a wound that keeps on getting worse. I prefer natural remedies and as Tom suggested, sometimes doing your own research can help you find solutions that may actually bring you healing. I have a friend who had such bad hair loss that her dermatologist couldn't hide his shock when she took her wig off to show him her bald spots. He gave her shots...but she was also pro-active in finding natural solutions and she's now a fully recovered alopecia survivor. So don't lose hope.

I really believe diet is one of the biggest causes of dis-ease in our bodies and that making the right changes can begin our healing. Also if you cut junk out of your diet, you make room in your blood for only beneficial nutrients which means only useful stuff is delivered to your cells and hair follicles. Sugar, excessive salt, food additives need to go as they are pretty useless in promoting good health.

I did a Google search on diet and seborrheic dermatitis and found this: http://www.trustnature.com/articles/sd_report.pdf I also wanted to mention that when I had my hair loss, I did wonder if it may be fungal related (since I previously suffered from systemic candidiasis) and so anti-fungal products like coconut oil, oil of oregano, or even opening a capsule of caprylic acid supplement and making a paste with water and applying to the bald spots to stop the itching were things I tried. I believe taking these three taken internally would also be beneficial. I cook with cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil and using it in rice instead of butter--makes the tastiest rice ever! If you've ever cooked rice with coconut water, then you know how tasty using coconut oil in it must be. And if you're a fan of cilantro like I am, chop up some and add to the rice while it cooks or sprinkle dried cilantro leaves... I could eat the rice plain!

Again, I will echo Tom and say that knowing the causes of hair loss can help you perhaps ID what yours may be and therefore start to address the problem, hopefully naturally. The following link has a lot of useful information on some causes of hair loss. Check out the links to the left to learn more about what natural things you can do to solve the problems: http://www.add-hair.com/hair-loss-causes.htm It is also a good idea to give your scalp a good massage. I read that some people find Apple Cider Vinegar to help. After shampooing and conditioning my hair, I like to do a final rinse with a very dilute solution of ACV. What I do is mix about 1/4 cup with maybe 2 gallons of lukewarm water in a bucket or basin then I literally kneel and then dunk my head (not face) into the solution...and massage my scalp with head submerged. I do this because I love to make sure all traces of conditioner that might have gotten on my scalp are removed (so no itches follow me from conditioner residue) and I love the tingling I get from improved circulation. But there's also the benefit of the acidic solution closing my hair cuticles leaving smooth strands that are less likely to tangle. If ACV does help SD as a few of the people in this discussion claim, maybe doing what I do may help you.
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