I am a 50 yr old female having had a radical hysterectomy almost exactly one year ago. I had experienced alopecia areata when I was 10 years old, due to a stressful emotional experience. My parents had divorced. I had steroidal treatments consisting of creams and painful injections in the scalp, which did not help. I regrew my hair on my own, but it did take a year. I had healthy hair up until a few weeks ago when I tried to stop taking my estrogen, (hormone replacement) and also experienced yet another stressful emotional episode. I lost a lot of my hair under my existing hair I went to the dermatologist once again to get the same treatment. It is helping somewhat. I have some growth under my existing hair. Autoimmune disorders are extremely hard to pinpoint. I am trying to now to be more positive and not worry about the small stuff and hopefully my hair loss will not be permanent. My suggestion to others who have experienced areata recently is it will take time to regrow your hair back, try to be patient. I am doing my best and pray every day to be at peace.
Biopsy findings change over time. Initially there is inflammation around the follicle. Over time, the degree of inflammation may lessen, and there is more scar formation. Thus, a biopsy of a late lesion may not yield a specific diagnosis, and sometimes a repeat biopsy of a more active area is required. If the alopecia is “burned out”, or inactive, even multiple biopsies may not help. In such cases, an evaluation by a clinician specializing in hair loss and review of the slides by a dermatopathologist specializing in alopecia may help to correlate the clinical and histologic findings and arrive at a diagnosis. Despite this advanced level of care, sometimes a specific diagnosis cannot be achieved.