Alopecia and Me

Alopecia. The word we don’t like to hear, especially women. The condition which is regularly, wrongly confused with cancer. But what is it? And how does it affect you?

Alopecia is an autoimmune disease where it is thought the immune system starts attacking its healthy cells, in this case hair follicles. Not a lot of research has been done regarding the condition so details are still very vague. And there’s no real cure for it.

From around the age of 8, I noticed a bald spot in my hair. I even showed my friend at school. Maybe to see if it was normal and if she’d say I have the same. But no, she just asked how and when did I get it? Shortly after I saw my doctor, he prescribed some steroidal cream to apply to the patch itself. I did as he prescribed for however long. My mother said she saw a small difference. I recall no difference but anyway, the patch still remained.

For years on and off, I’ve been mentioning it to other doctors, and all they put it down to was eczema. So I took their word for it, as there doctors they’re supposed to know what they’re talking about. They kept giving me steroidal creams or shampoo’s for ‘irritated skin’. Sometimes I’d have flakiness/scabs and sometimes I wouldn’t. I felt they kept ignoring the issue, and tried putting It down to something else. Which got more and more infuriating, as you’re unaware if and when you’ll start losing more hair…

I had enough. Years passed with no diagnosis of what the baldness was and no treatment. I had completely no faith in doctors, as in my eyes, they’ve just been incompetent. I’ve even seen dermatologists since the age of 2 for other skin issues I’ll get into in the near future. And even they failed me! Imagine, they’re specialists in their field and none of them came up with an answer for the balding. I ran out of faith for anyone treating me.

I noticed another bald patch arise from nowhere close to the original patch. Along with a decent amount of hair thinning at the sides and front of the scalp. Only a few months ago at the age of 19, I saw another dermatologist and whilst in the consultation, I thought I’d show her these patches and give her a chance to examine. I mentioned it, just to see how inept they can be. This consultant took it seriously. Even I was surprised. She never diagnosed me (I think she was a trainee), but she shined a UV light on it and took measurements of both. And gave me a potent steroidal cream. I used it religiously for almost 2 weeks. My mother was saying early on in this treatment, it looks like it’s making the patches bigger and I just said I have to give it a fair go it’s supposed to work. Then after I washed my hair, The patches were just getting even more noticeable so I had to stop.

A few months pass, I turn 20 then I see another dermatologist (my main constultant since becoming an adult). I mention the patches to her and the treatment I started, advised from her colleague and say it made my patches more noticeable and worse. She examines me and diagnosed me, finally with alopecia. Then asks me if I’d like steroidal injections, injected into my scalp. I almost bit her hand off, I was like yes yes yes please! She continued to explain, because the main bald patch has been there for about 12 years she doesn’t think it would react to the injections, but the more recent one has more of a chance of regrowth. So she injected both areas anyway. They’re a bit painful and tingly but trust me nowhere near unbearable.

So far I’m not gonna lie its been about 3 months and I’ve seen a slight difference, which is something. So it hasn’t really changed my attempts at hairstyles to cover my patches, and it does affect how you live your life, if it’s a windy day and your hairs down, you’re always questioning if the balding is on display. It may sound trivial but hair is quite a big deal, especially to women. As people say its your crowning glory, and when that crown wears away, you feel like you’re losing part of your identity.

My partner then, was speaking about how lovely my hair is, and I asked what would you do if I lost it all? And I saw the look on his face, he said kind of reluctantly, I’d just pretend you had hair. I was taken aback, and not in a good way. I proceeded to say, if you love someone you shouldn’t have to pretend they have hair, you’re supposed to love them no matter what. And it made me think, I would want you to see me as me. Not pretend I look a certain way, when I don’t.

Have you ever suffered from hair loss/alopecia? Or do you know someone who does? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

48 thoughts on “Alopecia and Me

  1. My kid sister suffered from alopeica when she was very young. Her hair came out in clumps. The Dr said she’d get over it and she did. She now has masses of hair and no bald patches.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow that’s amazing! It must’ve been so worrying at first but thankfully it’s all grown back!
      Thankyouu so much for reading and commenting!😊

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Father’s aren’t reluctant or hesitant to tell thier Daughter’s they are Beautiful and very Proud of them. Fathers cover up the wounds with strong arms and gentle hands.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. My mom had it and she had to change her diet to boost her immune system with probiotics, Vitamin D3/k2, zinc, magnesium. She also rubbed rosemary oil/castor oil on the patches. It grew back! I also hear drinking carrot juice is good. Best of luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow really? I’ll definitely look into that as I’ve heard different therapies can sometimes help!
      Thankyouu so much for your information!😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well…although it’s a repeat I’m still going to say that you’re beautiful with or without hair. Just a heads up (no pun intended 😜), I’m honest to a fault (Sagittarius); I have to consciously be careful to not blurt out words that sound too harsh. That being said, I have a couple/3 experiences slightly related. My granddaughter was diagnosed with that at about 4 or 5 years old. However, in her case I firmly believed it was from the EXTREME tight pony tails or hairdos that her dads “then” (& not for long!) girlfriend kept doing every day! As soon as I would get her, most of the time, I’d yank that out. I grew up with very long hair, naturally curly & thick, a lot of hair & stuff like that would give me a headache. And I never did them as tight. Shortly after breaking it off w/her & stopping that ****, it went away. I went by my memory of a classmate (50 years ago) who came to school every single day with super tight braids & it did end up making her lose hair.
    The other thing you bring to mind, speaking of badge of honor, so to speak, I have & will always have a scar on my head from ear to ear (only small line shows up when swimming, etc) from having brain surgery twice. So it doesn’t bother or matter to me…at all! I survived. It’s small stuff. I know the perspective might be very different for your age 🥰.
    The third is that my husband, now passed away from cancer (& he lost all his hair) ALWAYS felt the same way about me no matter what; with hair, w/out hair, etc.. He loved me/us…unconditionally. He wouldn’t have or never did feel any other way in 30 years. Oh he would definently make jokes & laugh, but feelings were same. It’s like with our kids…nothing can change that love. Just food for thought 💖 ☮
    That granddaughter is now 15 & if she still had it…it would be a problem to her. Not sure how that would’ve went.
    Bottom line is that I hope you know you’re beautiful…either way 🥰 👍

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww thankyouu! Oh wow your granddaughter had it young! I understand the hairstyle subject completely! Those really tight braids put so much strain on your scalp especially if you do it everyday!
      You’ve had brain surgery? You must be so strong wow. I can’t imagine such an intrusive surgery. I hope you’re alright now!
      I’m so sorry to hear about your husband passing.🙏
      You’ve experienced so much but also it sounds like it’s made you stronger and so knowledgable about many different things.
      Thankyouu so much for reading and commenting, your words meant more than I could ever describe!😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A line from a song that pops in my head for you is..
    “I wish you’d see yourself as beautiful as I see you
    Why can’t you see yourself as beautiful as I see you”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard that it affects males quite a lot. Stay strong and try not to have a lot of stress in your life. Stress makes it worse! 💪
      Thankyouu so much for reading and commenting!😊

      Like

  5. This condition is emotionally painful for women. We are often valued for our appearance alone. Slowly, however, society is beginning to recognize there are all kinds of beauty. Many women now shave their heads. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so right. Sometimes people forget that women are a lot more than the exterior. Such wise words from you!
      Thankyouu so much for reading and commenting!😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you enjoyed this post! It’s so hard to live a stress-free life but certain mindfulness apps can help so much! I’m so glad your hair grew back.💪
      Thankyouu for reading and commenting!😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Well… I am a man… A balding man actually. I agree with your last statement.. Love doesn’t care if you have hair or not! If you are truly seeing and loving the person… The beauty and love belong to the inside not the outside! I have seen women with shaved heads.. It doesn’t shock me in fact I admire their fortitude to step out and be different. Embrace the change. I know that hair is a very big part of a women’s view of who they are what look they wish to portray. But you are still you with or without hair! It would make no difference to me…. I Love the person not the just the hair!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If only there were more people with your mindset in the world! I couldn’t agree more! So wise! Thankyouu so much for your insight!😊

      Like

  7. Antonia, I do understand your frustration and worry. I would hate losing hair too.
    I personally know to close cases who had Alopecia from different reasons.
    First one was in her teens and had followed a very poor diet at university.
    The second lost hair in circles you describe through life threatening shocks.

    I hope you find the real reason to your situation. 🌻

    miriam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so interesting, there’s usually a reason of some sort why you’re losing hair. It’s when there is no reason, it’s more frustrating in a way, and that doesn’t help the hair loss at all!
      Thankyouu for your insight, I really hope both people have overcome alopecia and hopefully their hair has grown back😊

      Like

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