Female Pattern Alopecia
It is out there, female pattern alopecia. Imagine it, you are looking in the mirror and suddenly you realize that you see it. A bald spot the size of a quarter or your part is seriously widening and you are wondering how the heck that happened and where did it come from.
Just remember, you are not alone. Millions of women face female pattern alopecia and there are things that you can do about it. To start with, don’t panic. Begin with talking to your primary care doctor to rule out all other kinds of ailments that can cause your hair to fall out, such as lupus and thyroid problems.
While alopecia does seem to be an autoimmune disorder, like lupus, it is one that is not life threatening. Lupus, on the other hand is life threatening and you need far more care. So make sure that is not the issue. Once you are sure that female pattern alopecia is the cause of the baldness, you may want to ask for a referral to a dermatologist.
Yes, alopecia is an autoimmune disorder, but it is also considered a skin disorder and dermatologists are better equipped to deal with it. It sounds like a huge run around, but it’s the way that the doctors take care of you best.
The Good News
As a woman, there is good news; you are not going to lose your hair like a man does. Female pattern alopecia does not react to estrogen like male pattern alopecia does to testosterone. Women rarely end up with the "cue ball” look. Most often the pattern involves thinning at the back of the head or along the top of the head, where we part our hair.
This form of alopecia areata can start in women as young as teens but is most often seen in menopausal women because of the changes in the hormonal balances in the body. As any woman can tell you, if your hormones are out of whack, the changes in your body are legion. Losing your hair is just one more nasty surprise that Mother Nature can spring on you if you are not looking.
So How Can You Deal With Female Pattern Alopecia?
Well, about the only real treatment that does work for women with this particular form of alopecia is minoxidil (Rogaine™) in topical form at a 2.5 percent concentration.
Other medications, like Propecia™ don’t seem to work as well on women as they do on men, and it could have to do with their body chemistries and hormones. Not to mention it takes far longer to work on women, than it does on men.
Hormone replacement or HRT along with a drug called Aldactone may be an option, but that is something that should wait until you are actively in menopause and is something that you and your doctor should decide on. Of course you could always go for the old fashioned alternatives like wigs and turbans.
The really great thing about wigs is that you are not tied to one color or style or hair length. The bad news is, of course, the cost. It boils down to female pattern alopecia is not something to panic about. It is something that you learn to deal with. Take a deep breath, and hang in there.