Dealing With Alopecia Areata
Have you ever worried about hair loss? Have you ever seen chunks of hair on your hand when you brush it or take a shower? Have you ever felt your hair getting thinner and thinner?
Well, I have and it's extremely devastating! I been dealing with hair loss for many years now, more specifically from a condition called Alopecia Areata. Many people might have never heard of Alopecia Areata, but I'll explain what it is.
Alopecia Areata is a condition that causes round patches of hair loss that can be about the size of a quarter or even bigger. This condition could lead to complete hair loss! The cause of Alopecia Areata is unknown. That's why I have no clue how I have this condition if neither of my parents have it. It is thought to be an autoimmune condition because this occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.
Not only could Alopecia Areata occur on the scalp, but you could also lose hair on the eyebrows and eyelashes! The part that frustrates me is that there is no cure for this condition, but there are treatments that could be used such as steroid injections under the skin surface, topical corticosteroids, topical immunotherapy, topical minoxidil, ultraviolet light therapy and the use of wigs.
What upsets me is when the bald spots fill in with hair after treatment and then suddenly another bald spot appears! The first time I found out that I was losing my hair was when I was taking a shower and I was shampooing my hair. I noticed a lot of hair on my hands and on the bathtub. At first I thought it was normal because hair is supposed to fall out every day in order for new hair to grow. So I didn't mind it at first. But then the next day when I was straightening my hair I noticed a huge bald spot that I hadn't seen before!
I started panicking and crying, asking my mom if she knew what it was. She told me she had no clue and that she would make an appointment to the dermatologist so that he could see what is was and if there was a cure for it. So then a few days later my mother takes me to the dermatologist. When I saw the dermatologist he immediately told me that I had Alopecia Areata!
He prescribed me medication -- a liquid type steroid to rub into my bald spot. After a few months of treatment I noticed that my hair has regrown back. But as you could imagine, other bald spots appeared randomly! Alopecia Areata has changed me. Ever since I was diagnosed with this condition I felt my self-esteem drop so much!
I still have this condition after five years of treatment! I don't know what to do! There were times that I had to wear wigs because the size of the bald spots was extremely huge and there were multiple bald spots throughout my scalp! I'm scared that one day I'm going to wake up with no hair on my body or scalp! I hope someday there will be a cure for this condition! Until this day on I still have to color my bald spots with a color hair stick and my hair keeps falling out! I'm so self-conscious there isn't a moment that passes by that I can't stop crying when chunks of hair falls on my hands.
- Habif TP,ed.Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philiadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2009:pp 932-934.