Hairloss - GP vs. Dermatologist

Hi Girls. It's been ages since I've been on NC.com but I'm back after remembering that this is a great place for advice. Lo and behold there's a whole section devoted to health-related hair issues.

I've been noticing a fair amound of hair thinning particularly on the top and front of my head. I don't remember when I first noticed it, but at the moment I'm feeling it's getting worse and others are noticing it. I'm embarrassed and don't know if it's genetic, or health related.

I saw my GP on Monday and she agreed that my hair IS thinning so had me go for blood tests which I will get the results of on Feb. 8th. She said if those tests do not show abnormal levels of iron, B12, or a thyroid issue, she will send me to a dermatologist.

What exactly will a dermatologist do for me?
Hi ladies, I posted this on another thread, before realizing that it is probably best suited for the health-related thread. Apologies for the double posting.

I have a similar concern, though it's not related to pregnancy. Nutkin, to your point: my mom had dark blonde/light brown, thick, wavy hair before she had my older brother and I. After the two deliveries (and a move to America from overseas) she says her hair thinned, got darker, and lost a bit of it's bounce. From what I can tell, she got the bounce back, and now colors her hair to keep that light brown color she's happier with. Also, when I spoke to a stylist about my concern which I'll describe in the next paragraph, she mentioned that pregnant women tend to gain extra hair throughout the pregnancy and then that sheds after delivery. So she said it may feel like a lot more is getting lost, but it should only be the excess that you gained over the last 9 months and normal levels of shedding. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

I began to notice pretty heavy hair loss about 8 months ago, after a bout of Dengue fever. I'm not positive that the illness is cause for the hair loss, but seems likely as I had 10 days of high fever and no food. But I never shed very much before. Every time I put my hand through my hair, it seemed like so many strands were coming out. It's since shed less...but the effect is obvious. Over the last 8 months, my hair went from very thick, strong strands of spirally 3b curls, to thin, weak, looser curls. I'm afraid I'll never get back the hair I loved!! I have spoken to two stylists, one doctor who seemed to dismiss my concern, and my tropical disease doctor who is overseas and so I am still awaiting his response. Meanwhile, I'd be really happy to hear tips from any of you who can recommend ways to improve hair growth so that I can hopefully regain my hair! Also, would you suggest a general practitioner or a dermatologist...or other medical professional?? Thanks so much for any and all advice you can offer!!
Thanks but I'm not pregnant and have never been.

Just want to know about how a dermatologist deals with patients with thinning hair that may not be related to abnormal levels of minerals, vitamins or hormones.
Hi Nutkin, Sorry that I wasn't helpful. Let's home another curly friend can help us to understand dermatologist vs gp...and any tips to restore a fully thick head of curls.
It really depends on your doctor. I use a family physician who's amazing! He goes above and beyond to really help. One of his PA's is well versed in skin and this includes hair. Some family physicians or GPs don't want to dig and find out what's wrong. They prefer to refer you out and let someone else do the digging.
Dermatologist study the skin, scalp, hair, and nails. Hair loss can be caused by a scalp problem. If the derm sees something, he may choose to biopsy the area.


I have lupus, hypothyroid, fibromyalgia, etc, etc, etc. I have lost at least 50% of my hair in the last year. It was falling out in chunks. It was everywhere. All over my bathroom, shower, in the laundry (every piece of laundry). There was no avoiding it. It wasn't 1 or 2 pieces either. it was little hair balls.
I've dealt with hair loss before but never like this. My ponytail used to be larger than a quarter. right now, it's smaller than a dime.


Pregnancy- you don't gain hair during pregnancy. You simply don't lose the hair that would normally shed.
"During pregnancy, an increased number of hairs go into the resting phase, which is part of the normal hair loss cycle. This condition is not serious enough to cause bald spots or permanent hair loss, and should begin to diminish within 3-4 months after delivery." Pregnancy and Hair Loss : American Pregnancy Association

We lose hair for all sorts of reasons-stress, medications, disease, mineral/vitamin deficiency, hormonal imbalance, fungal infection, dieting, etc.
Have you been sick? Even the flu can cause hair loss because it stresses your body.
Also wearing ponytails, buns, etc can cause hair loss- it's called traction alopecia.

A common problem is that most doctors don't take hair loss seriously until it's dramatic and you have obvious bald areas. Remember, it's normal to lose up to 100 hairs a day.

I've been using Rogaine for about 5-6 months now. It's been great. I have a lot of baby hairs coming in and my hair is definitely growing. Rogaine is one of the few things that has been proven to aid in hair growth. It's inexpensive and safe. Also taking Biotin 3000mcg nightly. I'm going to increase this to 3mg and also add B12. women are commonly deficient in the B vitamins. My diet is lousy (I have stomach problems because of the lupus)

If your scalp is showing thru, you can use mineral makeup directly on your scalp. This will disguise the hair loss.
Coloring your hair causes the hair to swell and gives an illusion of thicker hair. Lowlights and highlights offer an optical illusion.
Short hair looks thicker than long hair.
Do not use chemical treatments like relaxers/perms because this only damages your hair.


Be sure you're getting adequate protein, exercise to help with stress and to get your blood pumping, massage your scalp to increase blood flow.

Consider adding fish oil or another form of omega 3 fatty acids to your diet. OFA's are good for everything- heart, skin, hair, mood, etc. Also consider a multi vitamin to cover your bases.
Some helpful urls

Hair Loss Natural Remedies and Treatments

Hair Loss Center: Causes, Prevention, Treatments and Restoration
Thanks for the response.

It will be interesting to see how things progress.

I think I'm going to get started on some Biotin tomorrow. Should I start with the 3000mcg?
I'm already taking a multi-vitamin.

Other thing I'm trying is Phytocyane which is a anti-hairloss serum. Only started last week so don't expect to see any results for a while.

I seem to have all over thinning which is most noticable at the top and front and I can't say that I'm even losing a lot of hair. I don't see clumps, or plenty coming out. My problem appears to be that what does fall out is just not coming back!

I'm feeling really down about this. I can't wait to see the doc.
Saw my Dr. on Feb 8th and everything is normal except for my creatinine was 54. I don't think it's related to my issue so getting that rechecked in April.

Meanwhile, I'm off to a dermatologist on Feb. 22nd!
Hi there! Sorry to hear about your hair loss issues - I have some myself and it's not only embarrassing but highly depressing to deal with. I've been losing my hair for a few years now - I have run through the gamut of tests, and all come out "normal". No thyroid issues, no vitamin or mineral deficiencies, no extreme hormone issues, etc, etc.

I should feel lucky (and I often do) that I don't have anything seriously wrong, but as a woman in today's society, it's hard to face losing your hair. I'm only 26 and my scalp is visible, and my ponytail has lost signicant thickness.

I saw a dermatologist after getting the tests done by my primary care physician and OBGyn. The derm made sure I didn't have any scalp diseases or skin issues, and then made the diagnosis that I have female pattern baldness. She recommended I try Rogaine, which I never did because I heard if you don't keep using it, you may lose more than you got back from it! However, after reading Crimson's post, I may be convinced to try it.

Instead of Rogaine I added vitamins specifically designed for hair, and I noticed that even if the shedding didn't slow, my hair looked healthier so the thinness was less noticeable.

I know how difficult hair loss can be to deal with, and I hope that your doctors can find a solution for you! I almost hope you have some sort of treatable scalp issue so that you can just treat it and go, haha. But if not, know you're not alone and that there are treatment options! Best of luck!
Thank you. ((HUGS))

What vitamins did you decide to take?
I've tried a bunch, but I always go back to GNC's Ultra Nourishair GNC Women's Ultra Nourishair™ - GNC - GNC

It's not exactly the cheapest thing on the market, but I've tried cheaper versions and both my mom and I agreed after several months of trial and error that my hair looked better with GNC, so that's what I went back to.

Also, any biotin or B-vitamins should help. I take a B complex by Nature's Bounty, I think. I'll double-check and let you know!

Also, fyi, I tried Shen Mein DHT Blockers for 13 months and didn't really notice a difference. Some people swear by it, but in my experience it was a waste.

HTH!!
She recommended I try Rogaine, which I never did because I heard if you don't keep using it, you may lose more than you got back from it! However, after reading Crimson's post, I may be convinced to try it.

Instead of Rogaine I added vitamins specifically designed for hair, and I noticed that even if the shedding didn't slow, my hair looked healthier so the thinness was less noticeable.
Originally Posted by LightWaves
I've never read that. Only that any hair that returns with the help of Rogaine will fall out if the Rogaine is discontinued.
I finally got to see the dermatologist!

He first looked at my hair and asked me about my family and figures that my problem is genetic.

He is sending me for more bloodwork and some hormone screening so that might show something. Dunno.

In the meantime he prescribed 100mg of Aldactone (aka Spironolactone) once a day at bedtime, and 5% Minoxidil/Rogaine. I didn't fill the Rogaine yet because the pharmacy has issues with componds blah blah blah, so will do that later.

I kind of feel that maybe he should have waited for the hormone and other blood tests before prescribing something but willing to jump in.

I explained everything to my husband. Hard to do when he has one eye on the tv. Obviously was NOT listening to me. I told him the joke the Doc said about how Aldactone can cause feminization of a fetus so if I was to become pregnant I'd have to stop taking it ASAP or a male child would come out like Michael Jackson. My husband says..."so the baby would have an afro?". Yeah.

Then a few minutes later he jokingly called me "hairless". (Just like when he says to his overweight friend that he's a fatty and then says "oh just kidding". )

I didn't think I was so sensitive about all this but I guess I am. I couldn't help but just weep and feel like an ugly mess. I really need the support.
I finally got to see the dermatologist!

In the meantime he prescribed 100mg of Aldactone (aka Spironolactone) once a day at bedtime, and 5% Minoxidil/Rogaine. I didn't fill the Rogaine yet because the pharmacy has issues with componds blah blah blah, so will do that later.

Rogaine 5% is OTC. Not sure why there would be compounding issues. 5% is the men's version. I use the 5% once a day and it works. The only issue is that you have to continue using it daily or any progress you've made will reverse.

I kind of feel that maybe he should have waited for the hormone and other blood tests before prescribing something but willing to jump in.
Doctors think most patients want quick results. You have the right to not start any treatment until you get the other tests results back. IMO, I'd start the Rogaine. I wouldn't take the Spironolactone unless I was absolutely positive I couldn't get pregnant. It also can interact with a lot of meds so make sure that's not a factor. It's a serious medication.


I explained everything to my husband. Hard to do when he has one eye on the tv. Obviously was NOT listening to me. I told him the joke the Doc said about how Aldactone can cause feminization of a fetus so if I was to become pregnant I'd have to stop taking it ASAP or a male child would come out like Michael Jackson. My husband says..."so the baby would have an afro?". Yeah.

Then a few minutes later he jokingly called me "hairless". (Just like when he says to his overweight friend that he's a fatty and then says "oh just kidding". )

I didn't think I was so sensitive about all this but I guess I am. I couldn't help but just weep and feel like an ugly mess. I really need the support.
Originally Posted by Nutkin


Sorry you're dh is so insensitive. Men can be stupid. No advice other than to turn everything off and ask for his attention. Tell him that this is important to you and you need his support.
When we were in counseling, the therapist said if it's important to your partner, it should be important to you- regardless of how you feel about it.
Rogaine 5% is OTC. Not sure why there would be compounding issues. 5% is the men's version. I use the 5% once a day and it works. The only issue is that you have to continue using it daily or any progress you've made will reverse.


It's a mix of liquid and powder. Could be a Canadian thing. I have to find a particular pharmacy to do it. Apparently it will crystalize if I get my regular place to do it.

How long before you saw results with Rogaine?
Rogaine 5% is OTC. Not sure why there would be compounding issues. 5% is the men's version. I use the 5% once a day and it works. The only issue is that you have to continue using it daily or any progress you've made will reverse.


It's a mix of liquid and powder. Could be a Canadian thing. I have to find a particular pharmacy to do it. Apparently it will crystalize if I get my regular place to do it.

How long before you saw results with Rogaine?
Originally Posted by Nutkin
Must be a canadian thing. LOL! If you could find a place with decent shipping, it might be easier just to order it from the states.
Rogaine takes at least 3 months of daily application to work. Slow but worth it.
I am having the same problem, I am only 18 and my ponytail is probably half as thick as it used to be and my bangs are very very thin now. It seems like this happened all of a sudden and I don't know why. I went to my doctor and got blood tests done and he put me on thyroid medicine but its been a few months now and it doesn't seem to have helped.

I'm not sure what it could be and I'm young to be losing my hair, at least I feel that way, if you have any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated. I have another appointment with my doctor coming up soon so maybe some ideas on questions I could ask him.... also I'm new here so I am not too sure what all the abbreviations are and everything and I'm not really sure what type of hair mine is considered.

Any help is appreciated.. Thanks!
Hey wildflowerkay! You're not alone. I often refer to this site Women's Hair Loss Project Forum for more information.

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