Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Feeling Tearful

Accompanied by my recurrent hair breakage has been some serious scalp issues--a scalp that feels inflamed (but doesn't look it), itches like crazy, flakes and scabs and then leads to accelerated hair loss/thinning. I have been to doctors and all have said that nothing is wrong. I thought that with the last set of locks, I had figured out the key to the scalp issues and felt real joy and confidence. I was washing more frequently with a whole different shampoo (I had been using diluted Dr. Bronner's), had figured out a good oil combination (jojoba and shea butter) and was doing occasional apple cider vinegar rinses (1 part ACV to 4 or 5 parts warm water). This seemed to keep my scalp healthy although my hair was still breaking. Trust me, with the emotional pain of hair that just won't stay on my head, the fact that I was not in physical pain was priceless.

Until a few days ago. The flare-up started as usual. It felt like a dry spot--maybe an area I had forgotten to oil after washing my hair. It snowballed into an all-out fiasco. My scalp is throbbing like someone threw acid on it. The hair is falling out. There are scabs galore. And.it.itches. Like lice or chicken pox. I washed again today in hopes of putting things back in balance. It is so tender that I cannot even imagine putting apple cider on it no matter how diluted. So far, it is at least manageable. I can't wear my silk scarf to bed and I've been going out with my head uncovered (which is a very strange feeling for me).

And I just feel so tearful and upset. How can it be that I am facing such issues with my scalp and hair? At least if my hair must be short, if it insists that it won't grow, is it too much to ask that my scalp be healthy?


I was reading on nappturality.com about not taking no for an answer from the dermatologist and perhaps getting a biopsy of my scalp. I feel desperate now. But I just don't know if I'm willing go that route of getting a biopsy, some diagnosis and the subsequent pharmaceuticals I would have to take.


Anonymous said...

(((hug))) No words of advice but just wanted to say that I hope you are able to get some answers.

Bientôt Maman said...

Hi Chi-Chi,

I hope you find answers about the health of your scalp. Maybe the biopsy would not be a bad idea. At least you could rule out certain conditions and get a diagnosis to know what you are dealing with. And then you could probably forgo the pharmaceuticals and research holistic remedies for your affliction. Just my .02.

mamak said...

I too am sorry you are having such issues with your scalp. How frustrating not to mention so painful. I hope you can get some answers quickly.

Hagar's Daughter said...

Chi Chi,

Sorry you're going through such a terrible time with your hair and scalp.

You may want to demand a biopsy because it is evident that something is wrong. Have seen a black doctor who is not afraid of your natural hair. It's an important consideration.

What you are describing sounds very familiar to me. It sounds like an autoimmune reaction. I am not a doctor and am not giving medical advice or a diagnosis. I'm just sharing my experience.

When I was in my 20s I developed similar symptoms you are describing. My scalp would itch and in the morning there would be hair all over my people with little specks of blood. My hair follicles were inflamed which caused the hair to fall out and my scalp to develop scar tissue. It was an autoimmune reaction attributed to lupus, but not caused by lupus. I'm not suggesting you have lupus at all. I am suggesting that you talk to your doctor about autoimmune diseases and alopecia. Sorry if this is grim news, but I wanted to help give you some tools and info so that you can advocate for your health.

Never accept less than adequate medical care and being brushed aside.

Feel free to email me: hagarsdaughters@gmail.com

80sBaby70sSoul said...

I think Hagar's daughter is right. You are definitely experiencing the body attacking itself. A biopsy would be great but you also need to look at the stresses in your like. Autoimmune issues come to fruition after years of stress or after one HUGE stressful even. Something to think about.


Chi-Chi said...

Thanks for the support everyone. It still hurts a lot but it's getting better daily. Hopefully, I can stop this cycle.

So I've made an appointment with the dermatologist but I am also making one with my family doctor to see if they can give me some concrete answers. Just preliminary research on autoimmune disease and alopecia indicate that Hagar's Daughter, you have a really good point. I'm excited that I may be getting closer to an answer and hopefully, a pain free scalp and (dare I say it) growing hair!!

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