Angela P. – CCCA/LPP
Cicatrical Alopecia is life-changing but it is not life-threatening. The earlier one gets treatment the better the prognosis
Hi, I’m Angela and I’m 51 years old. I count myself lucky because my hair didn’t start falling out until I was older. So for me, it was a lot easier to deal with. What first drove me to the dermatologist’s office was the incredible itch, pain and burning. My dermatologist immediately took a biopsy and determined I had CCCA with LPP, which I learned was the inflammatory part that pretty much caused the whole thing. The doctors offered me certain treatments, like shots in my head and minoxidil. But, honestly, I really didn’t like those treatments, so I pretty much abandoned them. I went along my way and tried to deal with it on my own, and of course, I did the whole camouflage thing. I used the topical steroids that were prescribed to help control the inflammation but that was pretty much it. I didn’t’ really do anything else.
But it got to the point where the hair loss that interspersed with just the few hairs on my head just didn’t look right to me. I thought it looked weird and decided to go ahead and shave it all off. It’s funny that one day I was fine with the way my hair looked, and the next day, less than 24 hours later, I was in the bathroom shaving it all off. Some people called me brave, but I don’t really know if that’s what it was. I think it was just me being fed up and tired. It got to the point where I just didn’t want to deal with it anymore. I thought If this was the worst thing that was going to happen to me, then I consider myself the luckiest person in the world. There are a lot more things to be concerned about than my hair. Don’t get me wrong, I love my hair, but there comes a point when you must realize what’s important and what’s not. You can only control certain things, and this you cannot, so you must go on with your life.
I would like to think that because of my age — I was well into my forties when it happened— that I was already at the point in life where I was done being concerned about my appearance. You know —like who thought what about how I looked? How’s my hair today? How are my clothes today? Did I have on the right shoes? Did I fit in with this group? At some point, it made me realize there are just more important things in the world. I need to live my best life and I need to be healthy even if my hair was gone. I had my family and I had everything, so I guess that how’s I deal with it. Of course, I did have those moments that every patient experiences of emotional instability, but I worked through it and moved past it. Right now, I’m feeling pretty good. Most people say I look okay with no hair. I do get a compliment occasionally, too.
If you are a scarring alopecia patient who is on the fence about how to feel about the whole thing, like whether you think you can handle it or can get by with no hair. Of if you decide whether to wear your hair or go without your wig, remember, YOU CAN DO IT. You are strong enough to handle it. You can and will get over it and you’ll figure out how to make it work in your life. Good luck! You are not alone in this journey.