hair loss doctor

My Sister Is Losing Her Hair And I Want To Help HerHi all. I don’t know if i’m stepping over the boundaries here and if I am, please let me know. I mean no disrespect. I am a family member of someone who has recently experienced hair loss. she’s my big sister and we live together. this has been an absolutely devastating experience for her. She started to really notice thining about a month or so ago and she has been to a couple of doctors, but hasn’t had too many tests done yet. I’ve been trying to find doctors and information for her, but i don’t know if i’m just making it harder. she is having a hard time so i try to take over the logistical stuff so she doesn’t have to think about it.

I guess i’m posting this just to ask you if there is anything i can do to help her or make this less painful. I know i can’t know what she’s feeling, but thought I would reach out to see if any of you could tell me stories of someone helping you make the situation better. She is a very guarded person and she doesn’t let people in very easily. I know she must feel completely isolated and I just want her to know she isn’t. We have a very close family and everyone is here for her when she needs it.

Again, I apologize if I am making anyone feel violated. I just want to help my sister any way I can. Thanks for listening.

~Brooke

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Dear Brooke –

Thank you so much for writing. I think it is really wonderful that you are trying to take on an active role in helping your sister through this extremely difficult time. Hair loss is devastating for any woman, and your sister is not alone in this. I’m certain your support means more to her than you even realize, and I certainly don’t think you are making anything worse by being there for her. Just a couple questions, how old is your sister? Did she recently start or stop taking birth control pills, nuva ring or the patch or experienced any recent extreme weight loss?

You asked for stories of situations where someone was able to make the situation better for the woman experiencing hair loss. For myself, the biggest help was just having someone there to listen to me. My fiance was there from the beginning and he always listened and understood my emotional pain, sense of confusion and fear for the unknown future. He understood my real loss. Having my feelings validated was extremely important to me, it still is. Having someone who believed my words “I am losing my hair” and fully comprehending the impact that was having on me, was helpful to me. What do I mean by believing? By believing I mean not denying or trivializing my pain by telling me “oh you look fine, you’re not losing your hair.” If a woman is losing her hair, she knows it, end of story. On the flip side, words that helped me was when he told me ” I know you are losing your hair, but to the rest of the world you look like you have a full head of hair, so try and enjoy today.” It was very delicate wording. He validated my situation and then gave the best hair complement a women with hair loss could get :) He wasn’t lying either, it was the truth. When we are engulfed in the early stages of hair loss we struggle with what our former image was…. a full head of hair. As it thins, nothing is good enough and the depression and sadness creeps to an all time high even when no one else can really tell. Now people can tell I’m losing me hair, but I’d say definitely for the first 5 years, my secret was known to only me. That didn’t prevent me from feeling ugly, sad and avoiding social gatherings, but it was something I wish I fully realized back then. Having my fiance tell me it “looked like I had a full head of hair” reminded me what I couldn’t remind myself, I was still OK. [click to continue…]

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Endocrinologist or Dermatologist - Which doctor whould I see for my hair loss?I must first clarify and make it known that I am NOT a doctor and cannot provide medical advice, the following post is merely my opinion based on my own experiences.

In answer to which doctor should I see for my hair loss, my opinion is that you should probably see both. Most doctors don’t know enough about hair loss as it is, so seeing doctors in different specialties may actually help you get a better, more accurate diagnosis. I am sure there are various conditions of hair loss that might be better served by seeing one more than the other. Perhaps a dermatologist would be better suited in determining if the cause was an infectious skin condition such as ringworm or scaring alopecia, and an endocrinologist may be better at diagnosing hormone related hair loss. The truth is, any doctor whether it is an endocrinologist, dermatologist, or general practitioner with a strong interest and knowledge in hair loss can make a proper diagnosis and work with you on the the treatment they think will produce the best results. The operative words here are “interest and knowledge.”

Try and find a doctor that seems to care about women’s hair loss, and understands the emotional devastation it causes. I don’t want my doctor to dismiss my hair loss, and I don’t want him/her to tell me it’s no big deal. It is a big deal and if your doctor makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, they he/she is not for you. If possible try and speak with the doctor by phone (believe it or not some doctors will talk to you on the phone first) and if the rules of the office don’t permit this then try and ask as many questions to the receptionist, such as, does Dr. X see a lot of women for hair loss? Does he order blood work? What does he usually prescribe for treatment? The reality of that last question is that their is no “usual treatment” every woman is different and hopefully the receptionist tells you something to that effect. I don’t want to see a doctor that prescribes Rogaine as his/her first line of defense even before making a proper diagnosis with blood work or any other necessary tests. I firmly believe you should not be walking out with a bottle of Rogaine the first day of your appointment. Sure the doctor can probably be able to tell if your hair is experiencing miniaturization, but what about the blood work to determine the causes? Rogaine may be the right treatment for you, but I’d like to know why. [click to continue…]

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