July 12th, 2017 Written by a Staff Writer at Hair Loss in Women
Squaric Acid Hair Loss Treatment – My Experience
After finally shaving my head I felt better about myself than I had in a long time. However, after about 4 or 5 months of being bald, I decided it was time to try treatments again. Instead of going back to the dermatologist for steroid injections, I went to a very well-known medical facility. It was there that they told me about a treatment called Squaric Acid. However, they told me that they wouldn’t be able to administer the treatment. They did not have the resources, nor clearance to do it. So I did more research and found another very well-known facility that did have the resources. I had a consult with a doctor at that facility in July, but decided to wait until the New Year to begin treatment.
What is Squaric Acid?
Let me tell you about Squaric Acid. Squaric Acid, as its name states, is an acid. It’s an acid that you apply to your head. At first only a small section receives the application to test for sensitivity. Once sensitivity is established then treatment will cover the entire scalp. The treatment is left it on for an amount of time specified by the doctor, then washed off. The acid creates a reaction, a rash of sorts. The idea is to “trick” the immune system to go after the rash rather than the hair follicles. The redirection of immune system response will then give the hair follicles the opportunity to begin to regrow. After a period of time, the idea is that you’ll “re-train” the immune system so it’ll begin working properly again. In January, I started the acid treatment and the first application was no problem. In fact, I didn’t have any reaction to it at all. So two weeks later, I did a second application and that time I noticed a reaction…
Squaric Acid Hair Loss Treatment Reaction
My head turned bright red! It was redder than any sunburn you’ve ever seen. On top of that it itched like crazy. After about 24 hours, the itching started to subside. Since the itching had started to subside I did another round of treatments a few days later as I had been instructed. This time the reaction was unbearable! My head began to blister! I was up multiple nights because the throbbing was so horrible. My lymph nodes in my throat and neck swelled up to the size of marbles. You could visually see them under my skin. I broke out in hives all over my chest, face, and throat.
After the first month of treatment, I was ready to quit. I emailed the doctor pictures of the reactions I was having. Although very extreme, all my side effects were documented in medical literature. Instead of stopping treatment, my doctor prescribed a lower concentration of the acid and encouraged me to continue the treatment. I was also instructed not to leave it on as long before washing it off. Again, because there isn’t much known about this treatment, protocol is still being developed. Like everything I’d tried before, treatment was “guess and check” and adjust as needed. I tried for a while with the lower concentration acid. I still experienced redness and itchiness, and I still broke out in hives, but it was much more tolerable and the reaction would clear up after a day or so.
Squaric Acid Started Working!
After about 2 months of the treatment, my hair started to grow! It was patchy and very light, but it was there! I started to think that the sleepless nights and the blisters may all be worth it. Then, the first week of May I went on a vacation. I wasn’t able to do the treatment the whole time I was away on vacation. It wasn’t until about 10 days after I returned home that I noticed that most of the regrowth had fallen out. I was left with a little tuft on the top of my head that made me feel silly. So once again, with my husband’s help, I shaved off that little baby tuft and started from scratch.
Back to Square(ic) One…
So, now I’m back to square one, starting over with the acid treatments to see if I can stimulate growth again. I’ll have another follow up with the doctor in a couple of months to discuss any progress. It started to work once, so here’s hoping it’ll do it again. I so longed to have my hair restored but it’s so important to be realistic and manage expectations. I went into my treatment full of hope. Would my hope be rewarded or would my dreams be dashed again? You’ll have to catch my next piece to find out how things have gone! No matter the outcome, I knew that my friends and family would always be there for me. Their strength and loves make moving forward and coping with alopecia much easier than it would be on my own. That’s why Hair Loss In Women is here. To help educate and inform women suffering from the many kinds of hair loss. It’s important for you to realize that you are not alone. Stay bold and stay beautiful!