Hi Dr. Rassman,
I have a couple questions to ask you regarding my hairloss situation. First of all, im 21 yr old male. I recently began losing a lot of hair suddenly throughout my whole head at about 8 months ago. I have been on propecia for 7 months now. However, the majority of hairs that fall out(about 75%) has a white hard mucus substance that can be scraped off from the end of the hair. I lose about 150ish hairs and they are basically always all the same size hair. I also seem to have a lot of dandruff (im assuming, white mucus-like flakes) that fall off also with the hair.
I just went to a dermatologist the other day and had him look at everything. He looked and sifted through my temple region hairs with just his eyes but didnt really look closely at anything else (no magnifying or anything). When i asked him about the white mucus stuff, he said it was normal to have that. (For the record, i know that hair has little white bulbs on the end of a hair, but this isnt the case here. it is real scrapable stuff, NOT the bulb)I then asked him about taking a scalp biopsy and he told me that that wouldnt really show anything. I then asked him about measuring my level of DHT in my body to see if its really high and he said that also wouldnt show anything because it doesnt matter how much DHT we have in our system, it only matters how much the hair follicles react to that DHT. He then gave me a form to get my thyroid, iron, and blood glucose? tested, which i will do now.
He then concluded that the acne on my face that is deep down inside my skin (never been able to get rid of it) could have something to do with my scalp and the flakey-ness as well as the mucus on the hair pieces so he prescribed me Nizoral 2% shampoo as well as Nizoral pills to get deep down and clear out my face and anything in my scalp. He also believed that milk could be playing a part in my hair loss because of the hormones milk has and how it bypasses the DHT blockers in propecia. (I do consume a lot of dairy products) He was very adamant about it and said how americans are much more balder than other countries and how the US drinks much more milk than others, etc. and how he is planning on doing a research project on it with candidates, etc. So he told me to stop all intake of milk, cheese, ice cream, etc. and see if it improves in the 2 months when i see him for a followup appointment. I asked about the loss of calcium etc. and he said that i would be fine without it and the loss of dairy products wouldnt have that big of an effect. (i could get it from other food products, etc.)
What im wondering is if what you think of my situation and about the dermatologist. I was just a little taken back about how he didnt give me a scalp biopsy, or look in a magnified glass to see deep down in my scalp. I dont doubt his intelligence because he told me that he was one of the doctors that got the creation of Nizoral, etc. and he is very well known and popular. (takes 3 months to get an appt.) I was just wondering if you agree and what your thoughts are on what he said about the different tests and if the examination of me seemed correct because i really wanted a biopsy and DHT test since i heard it worked well. Also, what are your thoughts of the acne issue and besides the thyroid, iron, and blood glucose tests, are there any other tests or procedures done to see if my hair loss is normal. And lastly, what is your opinion on my hair loss situation and is this normal? If that white mucus stuff isnt normal, does that mean that as each one of those hairs falls out, does that mean that particualr hair will never grow back? (is that the hair follicle or something meaning permanent loss?) I will send you a picture of my hairs and of my scalp.
Thank you so much for your time in reading and replying to this, it means so much to me. Im really having a hard time trying to deal with this.
The tests that your dermatologist told you about are always a good idea, so he can be sure that you do not have other causes of hair loss (other than genetic male patterned balding, which is the most common). We generally lose 100-150 hairs per day, so seeing the hair come out does not bother me. If you are picking because of the scaling, then more hair loss with bulbs may be detectable. What I always do and think is important to do, is a thorough analysis of your scalp by region, looking for miniaturization, which is the hallmark for genetic balding and some other forms of balding as well. Any good long-term plan, which is critical for someone of your age, must have periodic follow-ups of the scalp, quantifying the degree of miniaturization and any changes over time. Without that step, there is no possibility that a diagnosis of genetic male pattern balding can be made. Hair falling out is normal, provided that your body replaces the same amount (usually between 100-150 hairs per day).
With regard to the milk focus that your dermatologist is referring to, I am not familiar with it, nor have I found that others in the hair restoration community have developed such focus. I was a dairy farmer many years ago, and I do not believe that we are allowed to use the type of hormones in these cows that would produce more hair loss, but it’s been many years since I’ve last milked cows. As for Nizoral, I’ve discussed this previously here: Nizoral Shampoo.
It sounds to me like you need some real assessment of the balding process by a hair specialist, like me. On the east coast, Dr. Robert Bernstein in New York (phone – 201-585-1115) would also be able to do such an examination for you as well.