Can Allergies or Fungus Cause Hair Loss?

Six months ago I had a small bald patch on my beard. Today it's been growing and spreading. I've got one really big patch under my chin and a small one the size of a dime about an inch away. It's obviously spreading. I thought it might be a fungus maybe from a dog. However, it doesn't itch, it's got my skin pigmentation except that it's completely bald with the exception of tiny, small, no pigmentation hairs growing on it.

Two things happen 6 months ago: I came in contact with a dog with skin issues and I became a vegetarian. My father did tell me when he was my age he had a similar issue except it never spread and it went away after a month or so. Anyone have an idea what this might be? Thank you. Oh I don't have health insurance and cannot afford to see a dermatologist.

Doctor Answers (1)

Hair loss - alopecia areata

+1

This sounds for all the world alopecia areata. Often the tendency to develop this condition is inherited, in your case on the paternal line. This is condition is caused by our bodies producing antibodies or chemicals that are attacking and paralyzing the hair follicles. The white hairs in one of your patches is typical in that the hair has partially grown back. When it grows back it is usually at first white as the melanocytes, the pigment making cells, are at first weak. As they get stronger the more pigment is produced and the hair will grow in darker.

The treatment of choice is corticosteroid injections. Oftentimes it takes 2-3 sessions spread out every two months.

As I see it there are four options:

1) Find a sympathetic dermatologist who will give you a discounted rate my practice would be to charge for the office visit and perform the injections without cost)

2) Find a Free Clnic. In our area each city has one. The dermatolologists who volunteer are often quite good

3) Wait for the hair to grow back on its own. It usually does but this can take months.

4) Cut your beard.


Hope this has been of help.


Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

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