Friday, December 7, 2012


It started one Saturday morning in May. Little S and I were playing in the living room when I noticed a tiny bald spot at the back of her head. It wasn't even noticeable because it was under layers of hair. I thought it was weird and how I never even noticed it before. For sure I would notice it while I bathed her or there would be some hair on her bed.

I immediately called her pediatrician to get it checked. One look at it and she told me that it may be Alopecia Areata. She ordered a blood test to test her thyroid (as this causes hair loss). It came back normal. She then referred me to a dermatologist to confirm the diagnosis. This is when the frustration begins.

Two dermatologists - one of them supposedly the best (and the ONLY) pediatric dermatologist in Austin did not tell me anything that I already knew just from my own online reading. It took me 5 months to get an appointment with one of them to hear the same things from my own research. The only solution they could suggest was to stick steroids in her to get the hair growing again. Even with that, there was no guarantee that it will work. I tried the topical steroid on the bald spot in the beginning but it didn't work either. The first dermatologist wanted to stick the steroid directly on her scalp. The second one wanted to stick it to her butt. Where has the science gone in trying to figure out the underlying cause?? They did not bother to do any other kind of test other than blood work to check vitamin deficiencies. Which, by the way, all came back "normal". I obviously declined the steroid route considering her age and what side effects that may even cause.

There were a series of events before any of this started. I have a gut feeling that it is all related but doctors just brushed it off that it probably had nothing to do with it:
  • In April, she had a very high fever for about 2 days followed by a rash on the front and back of her body. Her pediatrician ruled it out to be Roseola.
  • She had a bout of constipation for a few weeks. She wouldn't go for 4-5 days at a time. 
  • She had eczema on the back of her thighs
I changed her diet last June to exclude gluten and dairy. That somehow slowed down the hair fall but it hasn't stopped. I also noticed that this improved her constipation and her eczema.

It is known that there is no cure for Alopecia. Today we are consulting with a Naturopathic Doctor. Perhaps she will be able to find the underlying cause. Little S seems perfectly healthy, with no other symptoms, other than her hair falling. It is so frustrating not knowing what is causing this. She was born with a full head of hair. Both my husband and I have no family history of this. And what is disturbing is that there are millions of people, of all ages, who are affected by it. And yet, nobody knows what is causing it?! After much research, we are taking baby steps on what may be triggering Little S's hair loss. It may be heavy metals stuck in her liver and/or kidney... heavy metals she may have gotten from her vaccinations. Who knows. We are doing several tests to rule out heavy metals and gluten/dairy allergies. Until we find out the results, all we can do is just wait.

As a mother, I have had sleepless and tearful nights over this. To see your daughters' hair just slowly disappear, and there is nothing you can do about it, is heartbreaking. I am thankful though that there is nothing more serious going on. At least this is what I am hoping. Something in her body is causing this and I hope that she will overcome it. My heart broke, once again, when we finally decided to shave her head. There were very little hair patches left all over her head that it made her look like she was ill. It really is harder for me right now than it is for her. She doesn't know what is going on. There is hair growth on most parts of her head. There is peach fuzz on the crown area. Perhaps it will all slowly grow back soon.

As a parent, should she not overcome this, part of my job is to build her confidence. We live in a society where outer beauty is more important especially for girls/women. There will always be that someone who will never understand what she is going through and will bully her. That someone who will stomp on her just because she has no hair. However, if her confidence is built to an understanding that hair is just hair and there are other more important things in life, she will be just fine. She will be above those who don't understand. She will always be a mile ahead. And she will go a long, long way.

Right now all I can do is HOPE. And that someday, in the near future, I will be able to put pigtails on her again.

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