Hello, I'm 33 years old and was diagnosed yesterday with Alopecia Areata. I also have an ongoing autoimmune disorder called Ulcerative Colitis. I first noticed a quarter size patch 3 weeks ago before a trip to the hairdresser (who knows how long it had been there). It is located on the back-right-side of my head and is well covered by the rest of my hair (I've attached a picture). When I first noticed it, it looked like hair was starting to grow back in the spot, so I decided I would go to the dermatologist only if it got bigger. Well, it got bigger. In 3 weeks it grew to about the size of a half dollar. There is fine hair still regrowing in the middle (a few strands are white), but around the edges its much more bare. I really never noticed any increased amount of shedding. I went to the dermatologist and he gave me about a dozen cortisone shots in the spot and told me to come back in a month if the hair hasn't started growing back. I'm really hoping people with experience can help answer some questions for me. I know the disease is really unpredictable, but I don't know anyone else who has had this to talk to. 1. Is it normal for the spot injected with cortisone to be sensitive the next day? I towel dried my hair this morning and it really hurt and irritated the injection site. 2. Is it safe for me to put on styling products, blow dry and style my hair? Or can this lead to increased hair loss around the patch? 3. How quickly do these patches grow? (Is quarter size to half dollar size normal in 3 weeks?) How much time must go by with no shedding before I'm out of the "danger zone" of it growing more in size? 4. Can one patch end up taking over my whole head? 5. Is it a good sign that hair is growing in the middle even though it seems some additional hair was lost around the edges? I'm confused by this. Is this normally how hair regrowth restarts? I'm really hoping it doesn't get any worse and this will be my only bout with alopecia. I already have my hands full trying to manage my ulcerative colitis (an embarrassing disease all on its own). I'm trying really hard not to be too stressed about this and keep the mindset that it will be okay. I just wish I knew what to expect. If you could please help answer any of my questions it would be sooooo appreciated! Thanks!