I Was Diagnosed with Lichen Planopilaris


I recently went to a dermatologist to be diagnosed with AGA despite no family history (even 3 generations back). I am a 29 year old male, who has been overweight for a few years (~50-60 lbs)and generalized anxiety disorder. I was prescribed “Valium” and a beta blocker called “Propranolol” in December 2009. Sometime in 2011, my head began to itch, sometimes more, sometimes less. By February 2012, I noticed suddenly that there was a thinning patch on my crown and my scalp looked red and inflamed and itched more often.

The dermatologist also took two 4 mm punch biopsies from two sites on my vertex and pathology sent them back as AGA w/ active “Lichen Planopilaris”! I had never even heard of this before. My research just shows me it’s extremely rare, is incurable and for the most part will ruin my life unless I enjoy being bald. What am I supposed to do? Everyone else is calm about the situation, and my derm says he doesn’t yet “buy it” that it’s lichen due to my clinical presentation (Are transverse biopsies ever wrong?)

I’ve read you can’t even restore your hair with HT if Lichen is there because it will just destroy that hair too. How does this Lichen disease come about? I’ve read beta blockers can cause lichen planus, and i’ve been on a low dose for 4-5 years now. I’m not sure what to do, I don’t know why I’d have LPP or where it came into existence from. If its me reacting to the drug, would my hair restore itself if I came off of it after years?

Does LPP also cause miniaturization of hairs because that’s apparently happening as well. How statistically unlucky does one have to be to have both AGA with no famiily history + some rare LPP disease that will scar my head for life?

I’m lost and confused and so far no one has begun any treatments for anything. I know I can’t take propecia, and I know steroids won’t be tolerated well in my body if I have this lichen disease of unknown origin.

Have I received a death sentence for my scalp? The crown/vertex is thinning and a small thinning keeps developing down the parting of my hair. My hairline itself hasn’t receded at all since puberty… The top of my scalp is generally pink/reddish at all times with a little red itchy bump scattered sporadically around my whole scalp.

Thank you for reading my desperate post. I’ve gone from the extremely thick course hair I’ve had my entire life and model with, to losing what feels like 70% of it in the course of 15 months at age 28-29. It is imperative that I restore my hair to its previous glory. I do have pictures if you are interested.

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Unfortunately, much of what you said is true. Transplanting hair into an area of active disease will kill the hair grafts. Most doctors will not do a surgery like a hair transplant where the odds are against the success of the procedure. I don’t know the specific statistics for those that have lichen planopilaris, as it is a rare scarring alopecia and difficult to treat.

There are some options: hair pieces, Scalp MicroPigmentation / SMP (which requires you to shave your head for best results), and topical concealers like Toppik.

Tags: lichen planopilaris, scarring alopecia, hairloss, hair loss

In the News – Do Redheads Have a Higher Skin Cancer Risk?

Snippet from the article:

The red in redheads’ hair is thought to put them at increased risk of the dangerous skin cancer melanoma, even if they don’t spend a lot of time in the sun, according to a new study.

Study co-author Dr. David Fisher and his research team first uncovered the apparent link between red hair pigment and melanoma last fall. That study used genetically altered mice that had been given a mutant gene that increased their risk of contracting the skin cancer.

Now the researchers are taking the next step: asking why the body’s creation of the red hair pigment — called pheomelanin — might prompt that risk.

Their new paper, published May 9 in the journal BioEssays, speculates that pheomelanin could increase skin cancer risk by leaving skin cells more vulnerable to DNA damage.

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Read the rest — Red Hair Pigment Might Raise Melanoma Risk: Study

Tags: melanoma, skin cancer, red hair, redhead

In the News – Small PRP Study Showed Significant Regrowth in Alopecia Areata Patients

Snippet from the article:

In the latest research by scientists at the International Hair Research Foundation, the University of Brescia in Italy and the Hebrew University Medical Centre in Israel, used 45 sufferers with alopecia areata, affecting two per cent of the population.

The patients had injections on one half of their head. Some were given the PRP, some traditional steroid cream, while others received a placebo. Three treatments were given every month. Hair growth was checked by measuring the area where new hairs grew on the bald scalp. Results showed the plasma injections led to significant hair regrowth in the bald patches, compared with the placebo and the steroid treatment.

Following the publication of the study in the British Journal of Dermatology, the scientists are hoping to develop a cream, so needles won’t need to be used.

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Read the rest — The vampire ‘cure’ for baldness: Scientists inject patient’s own blood into head to stimulate hair growth’

It is important that the readers do not confuse the alopecia areata (an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss) with the genetic male pattern balding condition called androgenic alopecia. Applying platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to androgenic alopecia has been tried over and over again, and despite many attempts to use this treatment for androgenic alopecia, hair growth has never been shown in a clinically valid, controlled study.

Although Dr Fabio Rinaldi told the Telegraph that the new treatment could also help those suffering more common hair problems like male-pattern baldness, I think he has gone overboard when he stated, “We think it can help to regrow hair on people with androgenic alopecia“. I strongly suggest that those people with classic male patterned baldness (androgenic alopecia) to not get suckered into the many doctors who have been selling this treatment for years.

Tags: prp, platelet rich plasma, alopecia areata, hairloss, hair loss

In Around 5 Months, My Bald Spot at the Back of My Head Has Grown (with Photo)

I am 25 years of age and i am concerned about my bald spot. I noticed it about 4 or 5 months ago. At first it was the size of a dime and now its bigger than a half a dollar coin. I am worried about my bald spot and i don’t know what to do. I also do not have any family history of balding.

Is there any treatment for my balding spot? Help me

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Click the photo to enlarge:


An examination by a good doctor is critical. The bald spot looks bare and I wonder about whether this could be alopecia areata, as part of the differential diagnosis to genetic balding. It could also be an infection of some sort. Get to a good dermatologist as the first step in your travel through this process.

Tags: bald spot, hair loss, hairloss

In the News – Child With Alopecia Sent Home from School

Snippet from the article:

A Philadelphia boy with a chronic balding illness was sent home by his school for having too much hair.

Eight-year-old Zion Williams has been receiving medical treatment for the illness called alopecia at Drexel University which includes painful injections to the scalp. Doctors at the Philadelphia university’s medical program told Williams’ mother Talia Mann to let his hair grow for at least ten weeks.

Last Wednesday, Williams was turned away from the Shiloh Christian Academy in Philadelphia for violating the school’s mandatory short hair policy. Mann said she even filed a doctor’s note with the school to allow her son to attend with slightly lengthened hair.

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Read the rest — Eight-Year-Old With Alopecia, Hair Loss Disease, Asked To Leave School For ‘Long Hair’

I suspect that this young boy has alopecia areata (an inherited autoimmune disease). The simplest solution to me would be to waive their short hair requirement for a few months so that it would not impact his treatment, but it seems that the school was inflexible in its policies and victimized this boy.

Tags: alopecia areata, hairloss, hair loss, child

In the News – New Radiation Therapy for Cancer Patients Has No Hair Loss Side Effect

Snippet from the article:

Scientists have developed a new radiation therapy for cancer patients that has no debilitating side-effects such as hair loss or sickness. Trials in the U.S. have successfully killed cancer cells in mice and funding is now being sought to test the treatment on humans.

Side-effects of radiotherapy occur because it temporarily damages some of the healthy cells as well as destroying the cancerous ones.

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Read the rest — New radiation therapy for cancer patients that has NO side-effects such hair loss or nausea

Tags: cancer, side effects, hair loss, hairloss

In the News – Early Baldness in Black Men Linked to Prostate Cancer?

Snippet from the article:

Men who lose their hair may have more to worry about than just vanity, especially if their balding starts early.

Researchers have long known about the potential link between baldness and the risk of prostate cancer, but studies have been conflicting. Now a study of African-American men shows a higher risk of prostate cancer among men losing their hair, supporting the results of a previous study that found similar results in a group of primarily Caucasian men. In the current study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers focused specifically on African-American men, since they have the highest rate of prostate cancer among men in the U.S. and are twice as likely to die of the disease than these men.

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Read the rest at Time.com — The Link Between Early Baldness and Prostate Cancer

Tags: african american, hairloss, hair loss, baldness, prostate, cancer

My Hair Loss Was Caused By Lupus — Can I Do Anything to Regrow It?

I am 53 yr old, African American female with lupus, it is not internally only scalp. I have seen many dermatologists and finally after 2yrs of testing, they stated it was Lupus. I have been told that my scalp is scarred. From the top of my head to near my ears, I am bald. Is there any physician in my area that can grow the hair back or is this just permanent. My scalp literally looks like Bozo the clown. Is there any help for me? I have tried cortisone injections and no help…

Please Help me what can I do? Thanks for taking time to read my story, may God continue to Bless you for the help you have given many.

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Usually, people with lupus who lose their hair as a result of this autoimmune disease will not be candidates for a hair transplant. The Lupus Foundation of America has an article about hair loss that can result from the disease or the treatment, which you may find helpful (see here).

There is possibly a solution with Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) if you have some patchy hair, but I would need to view many good photos of your scalp and hair loss to see if you would be a candidate for this approach.

Tags: lupus, hairloss, hair loss, female hair loss

Could Alopecia Areata Evolve to Totalis or DUPA?

I have been recently diagnosed with alopecia areata (one spot) and have had several HT session in the past. Recently been under a lot of work related stress. and my hair has been thinning all over event in the safe zone (I am 48 Years old). And the back of my scalp has a see thru appearance. So I am wondering if this is diffuse alopecia areata that could evolve to alopecia totalis or DUPA since my donor area is very thin?

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Anything is possible, but not probable. Alopecia areata without any treatment often will resolve over time (which can take up to one year).

Tags: alopecia areata, hairloss, hair loss

I Have Alopecia Totalis — Anything You Can Recommend, Either Clinical or Cosmetic?

I am 41 years old and a female. When i was 4yrs of age, i lost all my hair, including eyebrows, eyelashes, scalp and the nails on my fingers and toes. With homeopathy over a period of time, i regained my eyelashes, eyebrows, nails. With puberty, i grew hair in the correct places, normally. Just my scalp, arms and legs remain without hair till today.

I was diagnosed with Alopecia Totalis. I am happily married with a son also now. Do you have any hope for me,whatsoever? If not clinical, then
anything cosmetic that you can recommend for me which would be available in India?

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Unfortunately, there is little anyone can offer for treating alopecia totalis. There are people with this disease where the gene runs in the family and the hair loss goes complete at the age of about 4. These conditions do not reverse.

You can visit the National Alopecia Areata Foundation site for support and the latest research.

Tags: alopecia totalis, hairloss, hair loss