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Unexplained hair loss
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Unexplained hair loss

I am 26 year old and I have a bald spot at the center of my head.
I have seen two dermatologist in the past two years and my hair has not returned.  I saw the first doctor for 1 year without being diagnosised.  I saw the second doctor for a year and after a scalp biospy she could not diagnosis me either. The doctor had the slides reread and diagnosised me with "hot comb alopecia".
I feel that this is just a generic diagnosis given to American-African when a real diagnosis can not be found.  I have never had my hair pressed and or any type of scalp damage until now.  I noticed my hair thinning about 5 years ago but no one wanted to believe me.  Now I'm at the point that I have to wear wig and wig pieces to cover my bald spot.  I have tried the following medications: Nizoral shampoo, Rogaine for women, Halog solution, Synalar Solution and none of these have helped. My scalp is inflammed and scaly in that area.  I really not want to give up, but I really tired.  Do you have any suggestions.
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Sheila:

"Hot comb alopecia" is a common and serious problem among African-Americans.  It had traditionally been blamed on hair-straightening and the use of hot combs, but some doctors believe the loss is caused by traction, or wearing the hair in tight braids, which puts pressure on the follicles.  Except for avoiding either of these factors, no treatment is likely to bring the hair back.

I obviously cannot be sure whether your problem fits this diagnosis.  Perhpas you should consult an academic dermatologist with a special interest in hair problems in general, and/or those of African-Americans.   A call to local teaching hospital or medical center Dermatology Department would be a good place to start.

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
4 Comments
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STh
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I think that Ms. Sheila knows what "hot comb" means.
It's really quite simple.  Have you Dr. ever tried to
find a "black hair specialist" dermatologist.  Would that
also mean he is a hairdresser.
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June 8, 2001


Dear Derm Staff,

I write this email out of concern in reference to a former email sent to your email address that came from a Ms. Sheila. I would like to add to this ladies email and say that I also am a African American female and I have the same problem that this lady had I have hair loss and it is in the back of my head near my back hair line. I have dealt with a hair loss over the years. My hair did grow back after a bacterial infection was found in my hair shaft. I used Lidex and also Fluocinonide Topical Solution USP 0.05%. But now I have the hair loss again and I have been told because now that I have scarring the hair will never grow back and that I should seek a hair transplant.

I want to pass along to Ms. Sheila that hot combs I feel do not do this along as I continue to this day to hot comb my hair and I have thick long hair all over my head but in the back near my hair line I have lost my hair completely and it will not grow back. Luckly my hair is long enough to cover most of the spot and other times when the wind is high I hold my hair over the bald spot. But mostly I have used hair pieces as well to cover the back area. I would like to know what causes the hair loss and how we can get treatment. If any Derm's know any more information please respond to this.

Otherwise I can pass this information along to Ms. Sheila I see Norwwod & Lehr Hair Transplant Follicullar Specialist and I have decided to get a hair transplant. They graph some hair from a different region on the scap and transplant it in the blad spot regions. Please try their web cite and email address at e-mail ***@**** or website at
www.hairclinic.com.

Dr. Norwood is widely know and Dr. Lehr is is assistant I feel that they are on the cutting edge of technology and at the top of their fields in Dermotology. They are located in Oklahoma City, Ok at 5701 North Portland, Suite 310 Oklahoma City, Ok 73112  1-405-951-4970 or 1880-323-2361

Good Luck and Please email me back.

Thanks so much Ms. Turtle
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