I'm new here and am really hoping someone can help me. I started shedding suddenly about 6 months ago. GP noticed dandruff & prescribed anti-dandruff shampoo. She also did basic bloodwork - iron/thyroid/vitamin B were normal. Shampoo didn't help & I was referred to a dermatologist. She did a pull test & although she didn't mention if it was positive or negative, she said they were all telogen hairs. I've been put on steroid lotion to minimise what she thinks is eczema/dermatitis. A month has passed and the shedding & scalp seem better - there is still some eczema/dermatitis but a bit less inflamed. She's put me on steroid cream to calm it down further and says she may do a biospy when I come back in 3 weeks. She said this is to see how much is eczema and how much is related to genetics. I'm worried that this is a bit drastic (and expensive) so here are the facts:-
-Diffuse hair loss for 6 months. Was up to 150+ a day, now up to 110 a day & generally decreasing since starting steroid lotion. Probably I lose an average of 80 a day but this still feels like more than normal.
-Lose mainly long hairs from back where eczema is worst, some medium and I also sometimes notice a few baby hairs when washing.
-My parting is becoming wider although not noticeable yet to others.
-Not sure about regrowth although some hairs that come out are finer than others and a couple have been kinky.
-Patches of inflammation & flakes although not noticable
-Sometimes itching or burning scalp - esp with the lotion which is why we're trying cream
-Had wedding stress/came off pill 3 months before shedding started (although I previously came off BCP and went back on and it didn't seem to affect hair)
-Dad and brother have thinning hair (brother is only 29, I'm 32) Mother had thick hair, no female baldness in any family members
-Periods regular since coming off pill and basic blood test showed hormone levels ok
My questions are:-
1) Should I be asking for more blood work first or go straight for the biopsy? Any point in starting medication before biopsy result?
3) Is an inflamed scalp more likely to be TE or AGA? (or could this simply be hairloss due to eczema/dermatitis?)
3) Is AGA common and does it normally lead to noticeable baldness? Is this likely to be a time-frame of months or years?
4) Can you have AGA and still maintain your hair as normal with medication if caught early?
I'm worried since she mentioned the biopsy. Until then I just thought I had eczema or at the worst, a case of TE. I read that 90% of biopsies come back positive for AGA and that treatment is the same whether TE or AGA so I would prefer not to go through all the worry and expense unless necessary. However, if AGA is treatable then I guess I should start treatment as I don't want my parting to widen any further.
Please help, this is all new and I'm not sure what to do for the best