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Avatar universal

Female hair loss and itchy scalp/skin

I am a 26-year-old female with no family history of female hair loss.  Most men in my family also have their hair except for my father who has had some hair loss (but isn't completely bald).  I recently saw a dermatologist for hair loss that had been occurring for a few years.  He looked at my scalp and told me, after listening to my hair loss history, that it seemed to be early onset female pattern hair loss.  He told me to use Rogaine, come back in two weeks for testing to rule out other causes (although he as quite certain it was female pattern hair loss).

I came back for testing and he found that my ferritin levels were 12.  He told me that your levels need to be between 50 and 70 to maintain healthy hair growth.  He put me on iron supplements and kept me on the Rogaine.  A few weeks later, I noticed hair regrowth.  My hair loss accelerated during this time, but I also started noticing new hair growing in.

My hair loss situation seemed to be turning around.  I visited the dermatologist again and he said he noticed some regrowth of what he called "good" hair (dark, pigmented).  At that time (unbeknownst to me) I was two weeks pregnant.  A week later I found out I was pregnant.  

During this time my hair growth seemed to stay the same.  For the last three weeks of my pregnancy (up to the 7th week when I lost the pregnancy) no hair fell out in the shower, while combing, styling, etc.  Almost exactly a month to the date after losing the pregnancy my hair started to fall out "by the handfuls."  At the exact same time, my scalp broke out in a rash, became itchy and flaky, my eyes got what seemed to be eczema around them (swelling, itching cracking, bumps, flaking around the red inflamed areas), and I got itchy patches on my skin.  My lips also dried out and swelled up.

My dermatologist prescribed steroids and the rash went down, but the itchy scalp and flaking and hair loss are still going on - three weeks later.

I want to know if this is hormonal and stress-related (my job is requiring me to work 12-hour days and is a stressful PR position AND I work a job on the weekends because my PR job doesnt pay what I owe in student loans) - this on top of having to deal with becoming pregnant  (unplanned) and then losing that pregnancy.  I also want to know if, since the hair started to grow back, if that was only because I had become pregnant or if the fact that I had regrowth points to the fact that my hair follicles are not dead and are still capable of growing new, thick hair (meaning posibbly my hair loss is really not related to androgenic alopecia).

Any feedback on what is going on with my body would be GREATLY appreciated as my dermatologist is not entirely certain (and I don't blame him!).

Thanks!

2 Responses
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi,

Hair loss may be due to stress, medications, hormonal, thyroid problems, infection, or  may occur as part of an underlying disease, such as lupus or diabetes. Depending on your type of hair loss, treatments are available. If a medication is causing your hair loss, your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medicine. Recognizing and treating an infection may help stop the hair loss. Correcting a hormone imbalance may prevent further hair loss. And to avoid stressful situations if possible.

To check if this hormonal or due to underlying problems, blood tests may be done to check your hormone, glucose and even thyroid levels. Discuss this with your doctor to be able to arrive to a definite diagnosis. Take care and do update us.
Avatar universal
Well, it has taken two years, but I think I finally have an answer for the problems I've been experiencing.  Last March I was diagnosed with diffuse alopecia areata.  I was given topical steroids to address the situation and it's been working.  After using the steroids for about 6 months, I'm finally seeing some noticeable regrowth.  Through much persistence, I also just found out that my thyroid is too low.  I'm following up for more tests with my doctor in four weeks to determine what may be causing the low thyroid.  I also have a low WBC and RBC that I'm a little concerned about, but hopefully that will be addressed when I see the doctor in four weeks.
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