May 7th, 2017 Written by Janice Fultz
My First Dermatologist Consultation
My first trip to the dermatologist was in two years ago at the recommendation of my mom. She was the one who first suggested my hair loss could be alopecia areata. Shortly after arriving at the dermatologist’s office and they took one look at my head and they knew what it was. They confirmed I was dealing with alopecia. The hair loss pattern was obvious. They explained that my immune system was mistakenly attacking my hair follicles, yet the reasons why were unknown. The next thing we had to discuss was my hair loss treatment options.
Cortisone Treatment for Alopecia
They gave me possible treatment options, and explained my potential future. They explained that with treatment my hair may come back, it may not. I was told that if it did come back it is possible that my hair will fall out again. They couldn’t promise that the treatment options were a permanent solution. The dermatologist told me there is no known cure. The dermatologists consider the treatments to be “experimental.”
The dermatologist informed me that of one of the most common treatments for alopecia is cortisone injections. The treatment involves a corticosteroid that’s injected directly into the scalp at each bare spot. I have to admit, many tiny shots in the head was not exactly the treatment plan I was hoping for. Reluctantly, I went through with my first round of injections that day. I received 36 tiny shots in my head. Regarding cortisone, it was honestly just what the doctor recommended. I didn’t know much about the course of treatment for the diagnosis so just I went with it.
Hair Loss Treatment NOT Working
Over the course of the next 7 months, I went through 6 rounds of hair loss treatment which included cortisone injections (including shots to my eyebrows), several rounds of blood work, a scalp biopsy, oral steroids, topical steroids, and I was using Rogaine/minoxidil foam. After 7 months I wasn’t seeing any positive results. My hair continued to fall out and I had wasted thousands of dollars!
I don’t want other women to have to go through the same thing I did. That’s a huge part of my motivation to share my story. Educate yourself on the treatment options. If it’s your first time visiting the dermatologist don’t make a hasty decision to start an “experimental” treatment. You need to weigh the costs and benefits. Carefully consider the health risks as well as the financial implications. Low success rates and high failure rates coupled with huge financial burdens and adverse side effects should be enough to make anyone think twice.
I hope that on your journey you find confidence and solace in the fact
that you are loved and cared for. Your friends and loved ones love you for your internal and external beauty. Along with your friends and loved ones there is an amazing community of beautiful women just like you that are going through, or have gone through the exact same thing. We are here waiting for you with open arms and open hearts. Be strong, be bold, and be beautiful!