Monday, January 9, 2012
What's Happening Up There?
Like many patients with alopecia, Mr. Pokas wasn’t the first one to notice the condition. His wife, who’s acted as his barber for decades, noticed his usually full head of salt and pepper hair was thinning in spots. Not unusual for older men, but the severe itching was another sign. Despite the daily discomfort Mr. Pokas was experiencing, it took a full year before he sought medical advice.
It’s a typical scenario for patients with scarring alopecia, a condition that many mistake for hair loss associated with aging, says Sunnybrook Dermatologist Dr. Jeff Donovan. But scarring alopecia has telltale signs, including itching and burning of the scalp. If this is your experience, don’t ignore it. The problem in waiting is that the scars left behind when the hair falls out make regrowth a near impossibility. Timely treatment won’t be able to restore lost hair, but it can prevent further hair loss from happening in up to 70% of patients.
Treatments range from cortisone creams and lotions to injections and a variety of oral medications. It all depends on the individual and their type of scarring alopecia (there are several). But Dr. Donovan, who has seen far too many patients wait far too long to seek care, urges you see your doctor to start the discussion. Not to mention, to help alleviate your discomfort.
For more information, please watch my video.