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Alopecia areata - stress related

(9 Posts)
abigboydidit Sat 22-Feb-14 18:05:31

DH was diagnosed with alopecia areata just befor Christmas after we noticed some small bald patches appearing on his head. It seemed to stay fairly static and I thought it was possibly improving but over recent weeks the patches have increased in size and quantity. hmm

We are pretty sure it is stress related and are trying to address how he manages stress but are both feeling a but despondent. I would really appreciate any stories from people who have already gone through this. Time frames of how bad it got before it got better and anything you tried which you feel improved things. At the moment the alopecia is just serving to be an additional stress in our lives!

Thank you

trainersandaches Sat 22-Feb-14 18:14:18

I had alopecia areata when I was 18 - one of my friends was killed in a car crash and six weeks later my hair just started coming out in clumps. Within a week I had lost probably 25 percent of my hair.

I had blood tests but the doctors just concluded it was stress related. I lost probably a third of my hair in chunks mostly up the back and sides.

Although it was very distressing, within about 12 weeks it started to grow back and as soon as the actual baldness stopped it looked normal.

I don't know if it helped but I took zinc tablets and Metatone tonic and made sure I ate as healthily as I could.

ProfessionalProcrastinator Sat 22-Feb-14 18:21:42

I had alopecia which was definitely stress related (2 bereavements and final year exams all at the same time).

It started out with one 10p sized bald spot and ended with around 3 £2 size bald spots plus half an eyebrow disappeared. I was on antidepressants, had counselling and some of the stress related issues resolved themselves (exam stress). The hair took around a year to grow back and I haven't experienced alopecia since then despite going through some very stressful times in the last couple of years. No idea why.

Best of luck to your DH in trying to reduce some of the stresses in his life.

abigboydidit Sat 22-Feb-14 18:50:50

Thanks for the replies. I would say he has lost about 25% by now and in areas where it is growing back it seems to be coming in white? In general his hair feels thinner so he is now worrying that it is all going to fall out, rather than just being patchy. hmm

Cezzieb Sat 22-Feb-14 19:00:37

I had this on the run up to my wedding. It started in February (2012) and my wedding was in September (2012). It started with a small patch (just larger than a 50p), behind my left ear and got larger. Luckily my longer hair hid the patch as it got a lot bigger and was almost the whole of the left side of my head. As soon as my wedding past my hair started to re grow and I'd now fully grown back to normal.

abigboydidit Sat 22-Feb-14 19:18:10

I think the issue with DH is that it's generalised stress & not a specific incident. We have two very young DCs and he is self employed and he generally seems tense all the time. I just have no clue how to help him to get his stress under control. Reassuring to hear the positive stories though.

trainersandaches Sat 22-Feb-14 20:28:11

I know it sounds really trivial but could he start swimming or yoga?

I have been under a lot of stress for a few years (long term health issues - epilepsy and a heart condition) and in the last year I have realised that giving up caffeine and virtually all alcohol, plus swimming/yoga has helped tremendously. I just do the yoga at home to a DVD - it felt weird a first but I like it now and feel much less stressed. My DH even does it too now.

Alopecia was horrible and if he can manage the stress it might just help him.

abigboydidit Sat 22-Feb-14 20:43:46

That doesn't sound trivial at all! Caffeine is an interesting point. He has started drinking 1-2 of those cafetiere pots of coffee a day (to help with work?!) and I hadn't given it much thought. He does exercise regularly which is helping and I am supporting him to make sure he alway has time to do that. We were chatting about stretches the other day so maybe even some stretches and breathing exercises could help?

trainersandaches Mon 24-Feb-14 10:42:21

That will be about seven cups of coffee a day which is bound to stress him out and make him anxious.

There was a really interesting Caitlin Moran article a few weeks ago where she realised her anxiety was actually down to the amount of coffee she was drinking - it does make a massive difference (though may not be the root cause of his alopecia).

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