Curing Alopecia

Alopecia is the more discreet way of describing hair loss. In my case, a young adult with an obvious thick mound of hair at least 18 inches long, there is another term – Alopecia Areata, which for me is better than saying I have a bald spot.

I have had four actually; the first time I probably almost cried from bewilderment. Good thing is that it’s a common thing, for us uncommon folk at least. It was as big as a five-peso coin at the top of my head. The familiar tales that you’d get when you start talking about it are: it will grow back for sure & it’s caused by stress. Just imagine the look on people’s faces when a bum like me insists that it’s stress-related. First of all, I was really stressed when I got it and second, it did grow back. Not until I had another one, then another one, and finally, the biggest of all, a 2″ x 2″ baldie on my right temple.

So after getting sick of the cycle, I headed to the nearest dermatology clinic. There are injections for it and that’s what I got. It’s actually a bunch of injections until your head feels funny from numbness. I also got an ointment called Dermovate, Minoxidil, steroids called Prednisone – which I did not continue because I felt funny, and lastly, and the only thing you could actually get without a prescription, a food supplement called BioSil; which apparently is also good for your nails. Imagine all of that because of stress. So if I were you, either get used to stress or don’t get stressed at all.

Sorry, I would rather not post pictures for this entry.

15 thoughts on “Curing Alopecia”

  1. I would like to say “it’s good to know someone like me” but I don’t think its appropriate considering the fact that alopecia is such a “devastating” disease knowing that it has no cure and no known cause as of yet.

    I had an episode a few months back, well, I would like to believe that I am in remission at the moment as my bald spots have been filling in since October of last year. But as you know, alopecia is very unpredictable we never know what’s going to happen next.

    I lost about maybe 15-20% of my hair during that bout and I am so glad that the spots are slowly filling in. I thank God every single day for this because it has brought me closer to HIM.

    You know, I am thankful that it happened to me and not to any of my loved ones or my kids because it would have been harder for me to see them suffer instead. I’d rather be bald than any of my kids.

    Like you, I cried and prayed a lot, sometimes cursing but God made me realized that things happen for a reason. For my case, I believe that I had alopecia instead of any of my loved ones because no one could have handled it better than me.

    If I will have another episode, so be it. I know its going to be harder for me but so be it. When will that episode be, no one knows but I know God doesn’t give me a burden that I cannot carry.

    Alopecia may not be fatal but it sure is emotionaly devastating and I hope that this post of yours will somehow educate our fellow Filipinos about Alopecia. I believe that part of the reason why Alopecia is emotionally difficult to deal with is the lack of information about it, and because of the multi-billion dollars the cosmetic industry pours into the market to promote hair-growth and treatments. If people know what it is about then they would not look at us Alopecians in a very strange way.

    In all of these, there is a lesson I have learned that I hope everyone of your readers will take note of: WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER.

    God Bless!

  2. Cyrus, thank you so much for sharing. I truly understand how you feel and I know you feel the same when you read the post. Goodluck to you, goodluck to both of us. God bless as well. Thank you again.

  3. hi guys, i think am having an episode of alopecia lately… i know im stresed, having been diagnosed of diabetes made me very, very stressed… till now, i think… thanks to this post, slowly am seeing hope.. god bless us all..

  4. Thank you very much for this very informative post and the replies as well. I just discovered two bald patches on my head and I intend to see a dermatologist to check on it within the week. you have any recommended dermatologist or doctor here in makati med?thanks!

  5. Hi guys, Im a 26yrs old filipino banker, I had my first spot back in April 2008 then my case got worst by October 2008. Now my head is totaly bald and I’m starting to lose my eyebrows, eyelashes, and all my body hairs. At first I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata, but it developed to be Alopecia Universalis. They told me it was stress that causes it, I’ve had different kinds of treatmets such as, prednisone tabs, BioSil, Calcium tabs, Iterax, steriods injections to the scalp, clobetosol, minoxidil, uv light, etc… but my condition is still getting worst. I prayed a lot I trust GOD that He can cure me in due time. It’s just hard to work especialy with my profession having Alopecia Universalis. But it’s better like this than dead or having cancer or whatever that can lead to death. Let’s just pray for all the Alopecia Sufferers in the World, may we be blessed by our Lord Almighty.

  6. Alopecia areata may be triggered by stress, although the trigger for this autoimmune disorder is not limited to stress. It happens more commonly with children than with young adults, and children, we all know, are too young to encounter stress. The actual cause is not known, hence, the cure remains elusive. It’s a non-debilitating disease but we should never undermine it because of the devastating effects it has on a person’s self-esteem, and yeah, the unpredictable path this disorder runs would make anyone want to tear their hair out, if they still have any left.

    I wanted to know how many Filipinos are afflicted by this disorder. I know that alopecia areata is more prevalent in dark-haired people than fair-headed ones. Unfortunately, it’s either the local research on the disorder is lacking or few Filipino alopecians are willing to talk about their conditions. Might be a little bit of both. Which is a bit sad. A support group can do wonders for someone struggling with this disorder, especially in a culture fixated with physical appearances. Anyway, I’ll stop yakking now. =)

    It’s been two years since you wrote about your first episode. I hope that there hasn’t been any recurrence in your case. Cheers!

  7. i just found a bald spot the size of a 10 centavo coin on my head and i feel like breaking down…i dont know what to do.. does it ever ever grow back? i went to a doctor and she said that we cant diagnose it as alopecia yet because its 1 spot.. but i always thought it would be smarter to go while its still small.. im under a lot of stress.. especially from my mother who yakks all the time.. im the bread winner of the family and carry everyone’s burden on my shoulders.. i dont wanna lose my long thick curly hair.. i feel horrible with all honesty.. and i have no one else to turn to or who understands how frustrating this is 🙁 is there hope? will it grow back? the internist gave me regrowe.. but is it worth using it?

  8. Anonymous: No, Regrow won’t do anything for your bald spot. If it’s alopecia areata, you have to understand that it’s your immune system that is malfunctioning and for alopecia areata, we dont know yet the exact reason that causes the immune system to go bonkers. So unless your white blood cells have been given signal by your body to stop attacking the cells in your hair follicles, it will continue to do so. Anything that grows on your head will eventually fall off. You can get your dermatologist to give you cortisone shots which will temporarily suppress white blood cell activity in your bald spot but you should realize that once you’ve stopped treatment, your hair may fall out again. Alopecia areata is not a skin disease. It’s an autoimmune disorder so perhaps going to the dermatologist is not the smartest move? I think it’ll be better to see a general physician and try to find out the root of the problem rather than spending truckloads to mask its symptoms. In 70 percent of those afflicted with AA, hair does grow back in 8-12 months’ time.

  9. I had about 4 bald spots when I was in elementary,now I see its coming back again,my brows are getting thinner and my hairline is starting to get higher.I noticed it looking at my past pictures.

    Can you recommend a good doctor dermatologist who specialize in hair and scalp treatment.Thanks

  10. Hi, I did not know that a lot of Filipinos suffer from this condition. Though I do not know if I should be happier knowing a lot more goes thru the same condition as I am going thru. I’ve had my first bald spot last Jan2009 and had four since then. The first one is completely filled up, the second is on its way there. The third one is the largest. The latest one I noticed last Nov2009. It is very emotionally draining and your self confidence does go down knowing you have this condition in a physical-image-conscious society. I am trying to get shots for the largest one but reading now that it really does not cure anything, I am a bit down. Haay…

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