So now what you have all been waiting for; my treatment choice. I am fortunate enough that treatment works for me, but it wasn't easy for my to find the right treatment option. It took me about a year and I saw at least 3 doctors. I finally found the right doctor in Wake Forest and they suggest cortisone injections into the scalp. My original doctor had AA, but it was too far of a drive for me to go every couple weeks.
SO cortisone injections into the scalp...sounds scary right? It really isn't. I started getting the injections when I was 12. The first nurse practitioner who gave them to me wasn't very gentle and was rude to me and my mother. She said I was overreacting and was being childish..well I was 12 and getting a needle put in my head..so yeah I might have been upset and crying. Needless to say, we didn't go back and at that point I was dead set against this treatment. A few months after this, I lost more hair and was so devastated that I told my mom we could find another doctor and I would try again. Luckily, this is when I found my wonderful doctor (who happens to be my friends dad). I now get my shots every 4 weeks and it works for me.
I want to share the process with you, so that if you decide to explore the option with your doctor you will know what to expect. Before I go to my appointment, I use numbing cream on my scalp. My doctor knew how much I hated needles (definitely my biggest fear), and suggest using numbing cream on my patches to make the process less painful. BELIEVE ME IT WORKS! I use this, but your doctor might suggest something else:
I usually have someone (my mom or roommates) help me apply the numbing cream to the back of my head. When my mom helps, she uses a brown eyeliner pencil to mark each spot that has numbing cream. This helps us and my doctor to keep track of each numbed area! I also usually tally the number of spots in my phone and list where they are so it is a quick process! I literally just use some eyeliner I found in my house, but I suggest dedicating 1 to just your injections or else you'll get numbing cream on your eyes and that just isn't pleasant.
So then I go to my appointment and get my shots (usually 20-40)! It still hurts, I'm not going to lie. It's painful for 5-10 seconds per shot and then its over. It is nowhere near as bad as you would expect. There will be blood but not a lot. I bleed minimally:
I know it seems scary for young girls (or anyone), but it IS an option. It has given me my hair and I'm thankful for it. It is about 5 minutes of pain all together, and if you want hair I think it is worth it. I would ease into it with younger patients, and would definitely make an effort to have a closer relationship with your doctor so that they feel safe.
One downfall, is that you cannot skip treatment with this. I skipped 3 months because my NP at school left UK's practice, and I couldn't get an appointment since everyone was overbooked. Skipping 3 months resulted in going from 10% hair loss to at least 25-35% if not MORE hair loss. It was fast and it made me realize that I had to find another doctor at school ASAP.
Here is a picture from after my injections, you can see the eyeliner but there is no blood:
I do realize this is only a viable option for those who have lost patches, but I will focus on other treatments and options later! I'm sorry this is so long, but I hope it helps and is useful to you! Feel free to email me if you have any questions!
Some of you have added me on Facebook or have emailed me and I love it! Continue to do so and I will respond as soon as I can!
Thank you for the support!