The picture above is the last picture I took before lost all of my hair. Ironically, these were family photos. I believe I was 6 years old at the time. You can tell that my hair was beginning to fall out and I was still smiling. As I looked through my medical documentation yesterday, sadness completely overwhelmed me. Reading the documentation made me think about everything that I went through before this picture even occurred. In this picture I had no clue exactly what was in store for me and my life. I was an innocent little girl who loved her family. I am going to refer to this picture over the next few blogs.
So what is Alopecia? (Of course this is something you can Google, but in true form, I want to start from the beginning!)
In short, Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder in which the body mistakenly attacks the hair follicles causing hair loss.
About 10% of people with this condition may never regrow hair. People are more likely to have permanent hair loss if they:
- Have a family history of the condition.
- Have the condition at a young age or for longer than 1 year (My case).
- Have another autoimmune disease.
- Are prone to allergies.
- Have extensive hair loss..
- Have abnormal color, shape, texture, or thickness of the fingernails or toenails.
A hospital stay due to pneumonia is likely what triggered Alopecia for me. I have been diagnosed with Alopecia Areata Totalis (Total scalp hair loss). I have had it since I was about 6 years old. Although my hair has grown back on two occasions, I have been without hair on my scalp since I was in high school.
Please see more information about Alopecia Areata at www.naaf.org.
Be Strong, Be You
Next Blog: So It Begins. The Pneumonia Story