What causes bald patches on the scalp?
The soonest I can get him in to see a dermatologist is 2 weeks and I am very scared that some permanent hair loss or damage will happen. Should anything be done immediately to prevent permanent damage?
He has developed alopecia areata, no need to worry
Welcome to healthcaremagic
I have gone through your history and can understand your concern.
Your son probably has folliculitis decalvans which is a chronic form of folliculitis. It is normally treated by antibiotics as seen in your son's case.
You have mentioned about bald patches appearing on his scalp which are circumscribed, smooth and are not associated with any scarring. These smooth patches appear in a disease called alopecia areata which is associated with autoimmunity and atopy.
You don't have to take too much stress about it as it has spontaneous remission in majority of the patients with limited involvement of the scalp and if the hair loss is of short duration. You can easily wait for 2 weeks for dermatological consultation.
There are many medicines available to treat this condition most commonly being corticosteroids: topical or intralesional. Since you are unavailable to visit the dermatologist for 2 weeks I suggest you to start applying cortisone cream on the bald patches. It will be available as over the counter medicine in your country.
I hope to have answered your query.
I would be happy to clarify any further doubts.
Don't worry!!It is not associated with any serious autoimmune disease
In such cases I recommend my patients high potency steroids like mometasone lotion to be applied on the affected areas twice daily. It is a prescription medicine and hopefully your doctor will prescribe it.
No you don't have to take stress as it won't be associated with any serious autoimmune disease. Mostly it is associated with vitiligo or some thyroid disorder and that too in a minor percentage of patients.
I hope this alleviates your fears.
Hypothyroidism might be associated with alopecia areata
Hypothyroidism might be associated with alopecia areata; but now his TSH level is normal. His hypothyroidism is under control right now and you continue with the medicines.
The prognosis of alopecia areata won't differ even in the presence of hypothyroidism .
Continue with doxycycline
Hi! There are many antibiotics that are prescribed for scalp folliculitis, doxycycline being one of them. It is a safe antibiotic and your son can take it for another month. However the onset of action is slow and that is the reason why the red areas are still persisting.