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Help! 15 yr son's going bald! - Page 2

post #21 of 41
Have you asked him if he is pulling it out? People with trichotillomania pull out their own hair and because they feel ashamed they will almost always deny it. It often starts in the teen years.
post #22 of 41
Thread Starter 
I know he's not pulling it out. He just has a very itchy scalp, which is uncomfortable for him. I don't know what to do for that. I see him itching it. He was itching it a lot this weekend.
post #23 of 41
If he's got a very itchy scalp, that's a good reason to see a dermatologist. Then the dermatologist can tell whether he thinks that it's male pattern baldness or a health condition. But until you get a diagnosis, you can't know how to treat it.

FWIW, my husband started losing his hair in high school, it slowed down in his 20s and 30s and is speeding up again in his 40s -- I full expect him to be completely bald on top with a fringe in about 5 years time.
post #24 of 41
Thread Starter 
My husband just told me this morning that his parents noticed that he was losing hair when he was 16 (and told him about it), so he thinks it's male pattern baldness because it began for him at that age.

It's hopeful to hear that even though it began for your husband in high school, that it slowed down. Wow--that would be SO much better! Sometimes it's like I see daily change. What was there last Friday--on Monday it was gon--the balding place on his head doesn't have to be slicked down (with water) anymore. Because what used to stick up--it's gone.

I talked to my husband and he agreed to taking my son to a dermatologist. I feel bad for his itchy scalp (it's not itchy at the bald spot), as well as the hair loss. I know it's not comfortable to have that, but I don't know how to fix it. He doesn't have dandruff, just itchy scalp.
And yes--the hair loss.

I've researched and know that they recommend the shampoo Nizoral 1% to block DHT, in order to reduce hair loss. (I don't know how effective it is, but I know it's widely used/recommended). I'm guessing the dermatologist will suggest this (if it's male pattern baldness). I'm already torn about having him use it, because I don't want all the stuff in it that's (such as "blue #1"), but then again, if it will reduce his hair loss...

Anyway, it's hopeful to hear that your husband's hair loss slowed for those years.
post #25 of 41
dh started balding in hs too. he shaves it all off. i like it a lot
post #26 of 41
If he has an itchy scalp, I'd really get him checked for ring worm. My DD had it a couple of years ago and lost hair in a couple of patches. It was exacerbated by excema. Really, you should take him to a doctor to rule things out. As others have said, MPB is generally passed through the mother's side of the family, so your husband's experiences might not have anything to do with your son (if you have a daughter, your grandkids through her would be more likely to have a similar experience to your husband). Anyhow, there's really no reason not to go see a doctor. If s/he recommends treatment, then you can research the options that the doctor suggests.
post #27 of 41
I'd switch his shampoos. It's a longshot, but I had hairloss as a kid which turned out to be a reaction to my shampoo. Just because it's non-toxic doesn't mean he can't be reacting to it in some way, and the itchy scalp is sort of suspicious.

ETA-I'm suggesting switching shampoos in addition to checking for medical explanations, not instead of.
post #28 of 41
My daughter had a bought with alopecia about a year ago. We visited a dermatologist who prescribed her topical ointment and the hair grew back.
post #29 of 41
Thread Starter 
We have an appointment with a dermatologist in a week and a half. Hopefully, he'll be able to help him.

I hadn't thought it could be ringworm because in the web-searching I'd done the pictures looked a certain way and my son's doesn't look like that, but then again, maybe they only show the very worst kind, so I guess I can't really know from that.

I just switched his shampoo on Monday. I wish I'd thought to do that a long time ago, but I didn't.

It's hopeful that they could give him something topical if it's alopecia. I was envisioning a shot in the scalp of steroid...the dr's visit itself is a bit frightening as I don't know what he might do. But the hair loss (which is now truly a bald spot since the latest hair came out), is a scary thing to see.

I sure do hope his is something reversible.

Thanks so much everyone for your thoughts on this.
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by momofboys2 View Post
I was envisioning a shot in the scalp of steroid...
A friend of mine chose that when he had alopicia, and it worked really well. Though it might not be the most wonderful of treatments, it wasn't that painful and he experienced no side effects. (Though with the itching my guess would be on ringworm.)
post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by momofboys2 View Post
I hadn't thought it could be ringworm because in the web-searching I'd done the pictures looked a certain way and my son's doesn't look like that, but then again, maybe they only show the very worst kind, so I guess I can't really know from that.
When my DD had it, it didn't look like ring worm either (you couldn;t see the "ring" at all). She had to take 6 weeks worth of medication - it didn't taste bad, though - she actually liked it! It made her sun sensitive, and a little grouchy, but it immediately stopped the hairloss - within the first day or so.
post #32 of 41
It sounds like alopecia areata.

My 6-year-old has this. It started a year ago, and now she's lost almost half her hair, and her eyelashes have started to fall out.

There is no cure for alopecia, and treatments are often risky (our dermatologist recommended systemic steroids !). The thing is, it might work, but it will only work while you take it, your immunosuppressed and have other serious side effects, and your illness will progress as usual as soon as you inevitably stop taking it.

Itchiness is common with alopecia actually...many people have tingling or itchiness in areas where hair loss is active or about to start.

Alopecia normally clears up on its own, but some people lose all their hair and their facial hair and body hair. The cruel thing about alopecia is that it is unpredictable, so you cannot know what course it will take. It can also go away for years and come back later.


check out alopeciaworld.com
post #33 of 41
Thread Starter 
I'm been feeling extremely stressed, worried and concerned that he has alopecia areata. This is what I'm feeling is likely. (we see a dermatologist on Monday).

We've been bringing his younger brother to see someone who does applied kinesiology (total body modification). She goes through allergy vials, (auto-immune ones being among them) to help get rid of my youngest son's allergy problems. So here we have a holistic type of help we know of but dh almost shouted his "no" to me regarding taking my older son to her if this is what he has.
His hair is just going so fast to be male pattern baldness.

I'm afraid of the steroids and don't know what to do if he needs to get this. So I'm feeling frightened, concerned, worried about this whole health situation and my son.

Before my eyes his hair is going, going, going... (confined to one area, so far, but going so fast in just 6 mo. time) It's awful to witness & not know what to do.
post #34 of 41
I understand mama.
Keep in mind that steroids do not work long-term. No one will tell you otherwise. A dermatologist might recommend steroids for temporary delay, but they will not cure this.

There is a section at alopecia world for discussion, and a forum for those dealing with AA in their kids.

I spent many a night in tears for my child, and needed to know I wasn't the only one. I wasn't. And you wouldn't be.
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanguine_speed View Post
I understand mama.
Keep in mind that steroids do not work long-term. No one will tell you otherwise. A dermatologist might recommend steroids for temporary delay, but they will not cure this.
It depends on what kind of alopicia it is. My friend who went through this had all his hair grow back after the steroid treatments and it hasn't come back since he had them 8 or 9 years ago.
post #36 of 41
Eepster is right. Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss, but really doesnt point to a cause. It can be reversible or permanent.

Its great that you are going to see the dermatologist. Remember that you and your son are in control--its your choice how to treat this. The MD is a great resource, will hopefully be able to tell you what is going on, and offer you some choices in treatment. Then you can take a deep breath, and decide where to go from there.

There are lots of great provider who have non-toxic tools to help with this. I didnt see where you are, but depending on your state, you could see a naturopath (great if you find an autoimmune condition), an acupuncturist, nutritionist etc...

If you want to, you can look for the "black dot" effect--a sign of tinea where the hairs break off close to the scalp. Here are some pictures of what that might look like.
post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
It depends on what kind of alopicia it is. My friend who went through this had all his hair grow back after the steroid treatments and it hasn't come back since he had them 8 or 9 years ago.
I'm not doubting what happened to your friend.
However, steroids do not cure it at all. It can stop hair loss or encourage regrowth while you use it. But it has no bearing on future episodes.
Your friend was fortunate and followed the course that most alopecia takes (remission is very common).
post #38 of 41
Something to add to your file of ideas about attractiveness of bald men: Women are attracted to men who remind them somewhat of their own fathers. The number of girls being raised by bald fathers is enormous!

If he keeps it neat & buzzed, nobody is going to care. It's not the 60's & 70's anymore, when long hair was "in" and guys were gelling & combing what they had over the bald spot. Half the men I know have a buzz or shave on top. It's pretty normal and they look well-groomed and confident.

Just like weight, acne, or any other physical problem, a parent's reaction has long-term impacts on the child. Get the health check, ask Dad to teach him how to groom his hair, and leave it. The bigger an issue you make it, the less confidence he will have.
post #39 of 41

Your son might take a look at www.slybaldguys.com.  There are a number of high school young men on there who shave their heads, either by choice, or because their hair is already thinning. It's a very friendly international group of bald guys, guys who shave their heads, or those wanting to give it a try, (either because they want to or because they have to). He'll find plenty of support for dealing with going bald as a young guy.

post #40 of 41
Quote:
I wish there was a remedy that didn't involve drugs or something. From looking on the web I've seen a couple of things people take to stop more hair loss, but I'm not willing to give him anything, unless it was a supplement-type.

 

    You might consider constitutional homeopathic treatment (I am a homeopath, so that's the position I come from on most health matters). Homeopathy considers the whole person- so not *just* the alopecia-  but general health, past and present- as well as family history. Homeopathy is natural, works with the body's innate energy, and is effective in things like autoimmune disease and other conditions that are vague and have no identified cause or conventional treatment. Sounds like your son is pretty grounded about it all, and maybe he's totally cool with it. But if there is some other imbalance going on, then homeopathy is definitely a holistic option. 

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