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Hair loss and eyebrow and eyelash loss
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Hair loss and eyebrow and eyelash loss

Hi.  I am a 36 year old female.  About 9-12 months ago, I noticed that I seemed to be losing more hair then usual.  It seemed to come on suddenly, but it wasn't as dramatic as 300 hairs a day or anything.  Anyway, I tried counting, and didn't feel like I was losing a lot more then 100 a day, so I kind of ignored it.  Then I noticed that I could no longer pull my hair back because so much was missing around the the temples (only really notice it by the temples).  Prior to the hair loss, I also was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder....(which had been building several years) not anxiety that kept me from functioning, just being on edge (racing pulse, etc.) far too often.  I started therapy about 18 months ago or so.  Then about 6 weeks ago, I noticed that my eyebrows and eyelashes were falling out rapidly. I panicked.  I saw my GP and we decided that it was time I start Celexa (first 5, now 10mg), she also checked my thyroid (normal) iron (normal) and testostorone (still waiting). My GP didn't feel that any other medical conditions could be contributing.. no other needed tests.  I also saw a dermatologist. She said she did not feel that it was the alopecia where the hair falls out in patches.   She did a biopsy(one small one on temple) and came back with androgenic alopeica.(she was not sure about the eyebrow and eyelash loss)  She reccommended that I start with rogaine and if I wanted spironolactone (which I declined to start with.. sounds like a lot of side effects).  But I am planning on starting the rogaine.  Anyway.. I was surprized by the diagnosis, I felt that it would only be the stess... there is no family history of female androgenic alopeica.  I am wondering how positive biopsy results are, and if you have any other comments, recommendations... the eyebrow and eyelash is also very concerning, as they are now quite patchy (especially my eyebrows).. and neither my GP nor my dermologist have many ideas on that.
Other information:  My youngest child is four, so not childbirth related, I also take Yasmin (oral contraceptive), have for a while, multi-vit, b-6, and calcuim.. and now the celexa.  I eat a well balanced diet.  I do not pull at my eyelashes or eyebrows or use an eyelash curler.  I did have my hair highlighted several times, but had to stop due to the damage... it made it so hard to comb through.  (The area where the hair loss is is also where the hair was the most damaged and so hard to comb, but the dermotolgist didnt' think that could be related.  I was not so sure.. but).  Finally, right before I noticed the eyelash, eyebrow loss, I had had red, itchy bumps under my eyes for about four months.. finally went away (probably dermatitis.. I have very sensitive skin).  Anyway, I am looking for anymore information or suggestions.. This is very upsetting for me.. I didn't think I would have to deal with this until after menapause.  Any advice/comments would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks very much.
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The scalp thinning may well be genetic; I think the biopsy can be relied on, together with the clinical picture.  As to the eyebrows, I'm not sure.  Sometimes people, especially when under stress, rub or play with their eyebrows and eyelashes.  This can cause patchy hair loss, which grows back but over a long period, since these hairs grow slowly.

Genetic hair loss can start being noticeable in women long before menopause.  It goes slowly, however, but is diffuse, throughout the scalp, and doesn't produce the big, bald patches that mean get.

I think you should reconsider spironolactone, which is very innocuous in most patients and may well help.

Take care.

Dr. Rockoff
4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I am only 20 and have been experiencing diffuse hair loss for the past 3 years. I have lost over 50% of my hair volume, and have yet to find the cause. I've gotten thyroid and iron levels checked with no luck. However, I have also been taking Yasmin, but i'm not sure if this is contributing or causing the problem. The main strange thing I have noticed is that when i run my nails through my hair, I get little hard white "rocks" (of sebum, i think) stuck under my nails. some of the time, there is a hair attached to these, which makes me think they are over-developed hair bulbs, but I have no idea!!! sometimes they are attached to my scalp, and if i scratch at them a little, they pop off, but sometimes a hair pops off with it. they are much larger than regular telogen hair bulbs though... does anyone else get this?
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your reply Dr. Rockoff.  I am positive that I am not rubbing or pulling on my eyelashes and eyebrows.  Any other things to persue?  Thanks very much.
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Avatar_n_tn
Is there anything that can be done to speed up the growth of eyelash's?  Rubbing anything on them?  HELP!
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