British Skin Foundation - Hair Loss

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Sister with hair loss

Postby DisneyPrincess26 on Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:49 pm

My sister will be 18 in December and for the last year she has been suffering with hair loss. She has quit college this year and stays at home alot unless she really needs to go somewhere. She used to have thick hair like mine but when it is up in a ponytail (the only way to hide her scalp) the ponytail is so thin! It isn't like patches of baldness but more scattered all over so much u can see her scalp in a lot of places. She has to put it in a ponytail and sort of comb over more on one side and then hair spray it down. Some bits underneath have got short boy hairs but it still wont grow. She has had blood tests for different things which have all come back negative. She just takes iron tablets for a bit of anaemia. The stress of this has knocked her condidence understandably. Shes tried massaging her scalp for hair regrowth and shes tried that many shampoos and things I have lost count! My Mum and I have told her she need to go back to the GP to see what else if anything they can do but she is embarassed and hates her hair. Hopefully I can get some answers for her on here and in the meantime I will keep persuading her to go back to the GP .
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Re: Sister with hair loss

Postby Dr Sharon Wong on Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:51 pm

Dear DisneyPrincess26

Thank you for your query and I am sorry to hear of your sister's problems with hair loss as it is so clearly affecting her psychologically.
If the initial tests done by the GP have not shown any abnormality and the hair loss is continuing I would advise she gets a referral to see a dermatologist for further assessment. Sometimes it may be necessary to sample the hair follicles and look at them under the microscope to help with the diagnosis, and or to take additional blood tests to check hormone levels etc.
I agree there are a lot of commercial products advertised to promote hair regrowth and or thickening without evidence base and it is easy to spend a lot on such treatments with no results.
Experiencing hair loss is undoubtedly traumatic, but this stress in itself can cause further hair shedding and often patients with hair loss end up in a vicious cycle. For this reason, in addition to getting a referral to see a dermatologist, I think it would be wise for your sister to ask her GP to refer her for psychotherapy.

Best of luck and I hope she gets better soon.

Best wishes

Sharon
Dr Sharon Wong
Consultant Dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson
http://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/online_clinics/experts/dr_sharon_wong.php
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