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Conditions

Alopecia

Alopecia

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When presenter Gail Porter lost much of her hair because of alopecia she refused to wear a hat or wig, deciding instead to maintain a public profile and raise awareness of the condition. Alopecia is an autoimmune hair loss disease that affects 1 in 100 people, and can strike men, women or children of any age. The onset of hair loss is often sudden, random and recurrent, and can lead to either patchy or complete loss of hair on the scalp or body. The notoriously familiar male/female pattern baldness is another form of the condition. There is no single cause – it can be hereditary or genetic, the result of trauma or stress, or even medication. However, people who have had eczema, asthma or a thyroid disease are more prone to the condition. There is no known cure or proven therapy to induce hair re-growth, but there are various treatments available. Hair loss isn’t damaging to health, but it can prove challenging.

+++UPDATE+++
In the episode first broadcast on 13th May 2009, an over the counter product called Minoxidil was recommended for Caroline’s treatment – which is sold under the product name of ‘Regaine for Men’.
Always seek advice from your doctor, as people suffer with different types of alopecia and different treatments are available, although not always effective.

Watch the Live from the Clinic interactive case video on alopecia >

If your child is suffering from alopecia, read the special kids guide to the condition.

Watch 12 year old Lauren get a weft fitted in the Clinic Consultation: Alopecia video.

What the Men in White Coats Say

Comments and Questions

The EB doctors have been looking at your comments and have answered some of the common questions below. Remember that it is always best to check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

I have been suffering with alopecia for 28 years.My life have never been the same I was in a relationship for 11 years. And my partner hasn't seen my hair and I've been wearing a wig for the past 20 years and so on so until now and to be honest I've just had enough now where its got to the stage I just wanted to commit suicide but I just did it for my kids and my daughter introduced me to embarrassing bodies she said that' you might can help me.





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With the results from Columbia University for ruxolitinib and tofacitinib restoring hair - how would I find out if there are going to be similar trials in the UK? Thanks H





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Hello, I am a female in my 30s with receding hairline. I went to see a hair specialist due to this problem because I was tired of wearing wigs. After series of test I was prescribed minoxidil 12.5% to use daily and come back for quarterly checkup in the clinic. A month into this treatment, I realised my hair was already growing but also with it came loads of facial fur like hair which darkened my complexion straightaway. Although this a side effect of the medication, I stopped the treatment because I can't imagine waxing my face. My worry now is that will my face go back to normal with no facial hair and if yes, how long will it take or will I be subject to facial hair removal for the rest of my life. Please advice as I took time off work because of the blatant stare I get when I am out. Regards





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im 31 male and have been losing my hair over the last 6 years and its getting my down as i cant see my self being bald is there any help?





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I am 33 and after several surgeries, huge stress and drugs, maybe also some poor home colouring my hair fell out by the hand full. Luckily it is diffuse and whilst much worse at the crown only 40% fell out. Downside is due to prolonged stress and crash diets and again drugs (like heparin and morphine not recreational drugs)it refused to grow back. Not much more came out after the initial shed but nothing grew either, my hair only grew 1 inch in 7 months!! I would say not to panic as that makes it worse. I have had no treatment, and whilst it has not grown back where there is a will there is a way and i found some thickening products that really work. I am looking at alternative options for regrowth and if like me you don't want to take minoxidil look for peter bannister tricologist. I have not taken the leap so if you see him and get results please let me know. In the meantime know you notice far more than others, and short layered bobs are a good look for thinning hair x Best wishes to all on here, i know how bad it feels x





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Sorry i should note that i am a woman.

Hi, I'm 22 years old, I have hair loss and thin hair and I'm very worrying and I don't want my hair is going bald :-( Please help to me.





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Hi I have had a temporal triangular alopecia bald patch on one side of my head since birth. I used to be a confident bloke but I am becoming very self conscious and even obsessed about it as I am getting older (early 30's) and as I am starting to recede which makes it very difficult for me to style my hair and also dread getting my hair cut in case the barber cuts it too short. I've tried everything to disguise it like colouring in with eye brow pencils, caboki fibres...I've used women's eye lash brush to style my hair in detail which sometimes takes nearly an hour a day,I've even had time off work for it. can anybody give me an idea of what I can do or what is available to me. Thanks





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Hiya. I'm try to help my friend ...she 1has got really thin hair .2she has last all her hair on a couple of times ,but managed to keep her last lot of hair since I watched one of you programmes and young lady last all the back of her hair underneath what looked like a full head of hair ,and you told her to take probiotic drink .and the young lady's hair grow back. So I told my friend and shore enough so did hers ..the only thing is she still has a patch in the crown of her head that doesn't have much at all she has tryed all sorts of things but no joy ...so she keeps wearing a scarf .also her hair has come back white.but that is no problem she would just love a full head of hair that she could do something with it..please help anything thing ....just hope





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hi i am a 55 year old women and have a bald patch on top of my head i get very down about it and i dont like people seeing me my daughter is getting married and i am terrified that people will stare i have tried wigs ect and lotions to try to encourage growth but no luck where can i go to get advice and help





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I started losing hair 3 months ago and have tried lotion from my GP and one set of Cortisone injections but neither have helped and I am developing a new bald patch and still losing hair. So I can really understand how you feel. I too feel so awful about it all and feel that no-one around me understands. My hairdresser has told me that once my hair has stopped falling out, he would be able to do a hair weave to cover the bald patch so this may be a possibility for you if your hair around your bald patch is sufficiently stable for the weave to be attached. Otherwise, have you watched the hair loss item on This Morning from 15th May? If yo go on www.itv.com and search for hair loss there will be a link to this item where hairdresser Leo Bancroft shows various treatments etc (the episode is no longer available by going to itv player direct). One product he shows is a Mane spray which he sprayed over the bald patch and it coloured the scalp to disguise the bald patch. I am about to look into this as may be this might be suitable to disguise the pale colour of scalp if you can dress your hair in a way to cover most of the bald patch. Another idea would be to wear a decorative hair fascinator that you could keep in all day/evening? I was looking at some at the weekend which are on a slim hairband and are a mixture of feathers/netting etc so are lightweight but cover quite a portion of the head. You could keep one of these on all the time - whereas you would feel you would have to remove a wedding hat for example at the reception. Good luck and please enjoy the very special day. I hope this has helped you.

hi im a 53 year old women and my hair has been gradually thinning since i was about 16 i don't have bald patches but have an overall thinness especially at one side and the top of my head i don't go out any more as im too embarrassed please help me





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