A case of a 42 year old female, from Delhi. She presented with alopecia areata and tinnitus in the left ear. She is a housewife and was referred to me by another homeopath. There was also scanty menstruation and vaginismus since 6 months.
As I got to the details of her mental state during the homeopathic interview, she described how she felt alone and un-supported by her husband. She is usually unable to express her emotions in front of her husband and feels like he does not give her the attention that a wife deserves. She also feels he is not attracted to her. The husband is outgoing and she, not so much, being introvert and also feels like she is inferior to her husband. She feels hesitant to start a conversation with others. She said she finds herself weeping when alone and does not know what exactly is bothering her. Also there is breast tenderness, before menses.
To cut the long story short, after careful consideration of her physical symptoms and mental condition, I made the first prescription for her. Only after 4 months of treatment, the condition of the alopecia is as shown in the pictures here. The tinnitus got much better in the 1st two months but it is still present, only on some days, to some extent, so that needs further treatment. Only 2 remedies were used in these months until and she is still under my treatment, for some other symptoms as well as alopecia. The treatment needs to be carried on for a while as I do not want the symptoms to return and I need her to improve on the mental level as well, in addition to physically.
I have been practising since 17 years now and have treated at least 10-12 cases od Alopecia areata with good success until now. As a homeopath, you feel every case presents a new challenge and one is constantly learning and developing their skills, no matter how many years of experience in practice.
As the patients get more comfortable with you, it is easier for them to really describe their experience of the symptoms and their core experience comes to the fore, more easily. Understanding the patient at that intrinsic level really helps to produce a long-lasting and deeper healing in cases. This process has been very satisfying and fulfilling as every case result takes you to a different process of understanding, even the failed cases, teach us so much. I can surely say, I have come a long way from my initial years until now, as to how I even do the case taking, with only nudging the patient a little now, and carefully considering their responses for an appropriate remedy selection. But, I would also say, I am still a very curious homeopath and every case result still gives me so much satisfaction, actually inspiring me to do better work every-day.
Alopecia areata is considered to be an autoimmune disease. This can lead to hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere. When the hair is lost entirely from a small patch or an entire part of the body like head, eyebrows, eyelashes etc., this condition is called alopecia. Alopecia areata is a common, inflammatory non-scarring type of hair loss. Significant variations in the clinical presentation of alopecia have been observed, ranging from small, well-circumscribed patches of hair loss to a complete absence of hair on body and scalp. It can affect all age groups and shows no predilection for any particular sex or ethnic background.
It Can be of Various Types Such as:
- Alopecia areata focalis: Bald patches on the scalp or on other parts of the body usually appear in this type of alopecia. They can appear on any part of the body from head to toe.
- Alopecia areata barbae: Hair-loss limited to the beard only.
- Alopecia areata totalis: The baldness or loss of all hair on the scalp (including eyebrows and eyelashes).
- Alopecia areata universalis: The complete loss of all or almost all body hair.
- Alopecia maligna: This is a generalized chronic and gradual loss of hair. This type of alopecia can be resistant to treatment.
- Alopecia areata diffusa or reticularis: Diffuse or reticular hair loss where no separate bald patches can be distinguished.
Alopecia totalis and universalis are rare conditions.
- Genetic factors
- Auto-immune associated conditions like thyroid disease, Addison’s disease, vitiligo suggest it’s auto-immune foundation.
- Emotional factors/ life-stresses.
The patients are usually socially affected by this disease. This does not cause any physical pain or symptoms other than the bald patches. There might be increased incidence of atopic eczema, allergies and asthma in these patients.
Is it Possible for My Hair to Grow Back?
The pattern of alopecia has found to be very variable in each individual case. Sometimes the hair has grown back, and fallen off again as well. Sometimes, only a particular part is affected and then it stops there. In rare occurences, the hair continue to form bald patches in different parts of the body. Even in those patients who lose all of their hair, the possibility of re-growth is very much there. In some cases, the initial hair growth could be of a lighter color but ultimately, the hair regain uniform color and texture once the treatment is complete.
With homeopathic treatment, there are good chances for the hair to grow back and become healthy again as is shown by various practitioners already and this current case of mine, gives more positive hope to patients.
Here are some of the conventional drugs used for this condition.
- Minoxidil (5%)
- Anthralin (Psoriatec)
- Oral cyclosporine
Although they may lead to temporary improvement, they are incapable of preventing further patches to develop or they are unable to effect the etiology of any particular case.
Homeopathic Approach in Alopecia
The difference in the homeopathic approach is we try and treat the whole person, who has developed the condition, and not the patches only or the hair symptoms only. There can be different approaches in homeopathy as well but I have personally talked about my case here and how I treated her. It is very important for a homeopath to know the person he is treating and not just the symptoms of the disease.
Not only do we have to address the pathology of the case, but also the person and how he or she is affected by the disease. Every case of alopecia can be prescribed an entirely different remedy, depending on the individual presentation.
Not only do we have to consider the present symptoms, but also the personal and family history of the case, to be able to take care of the predispositions of a particular case. We call it the ‘miasmatic tendencies’.
My Personally Developed Index to Hair Problems
- Alopecia/ Hair-Fall: Ustilago, Ac flour, Pix liquida, Sycotic co
- Alopecia totalis, children: Vinca minor
- When hair falls out and replaced by grey hair/ plica polonica: Vinca minor
- After severe acute disease: China, Ferrum, Calc, Carb veg, Hep, Lyc, Sil, Thallium
- After confinement: Calc, Lyco, Nat m, Sulph
- If caused by long grief: Ph. Acid, Sulph, Staph, Ign, Lach
- If by nervous or hysteric headache: Calc, Hep, Sulphur, Nit ac, Phos, Sep, Sil, Sulph
- If caused by frequent sweat: Merc
- From syphilis: Thuja
- As regards the condition of the scalp and hair give for sensitiveness of the scalp: Calc, Baryta Carb, Carbo Veg, China, Hep, Nat Mur, Sil, Sulph
- For violent itching of scalp, especially if in consequences of old suppressed eruptions: Graph, Kalmia, Lyco, Sil, Sulph
- For scales on the head: Calc, Graph, Magnesia group, Staph
- For the disposition of the hair to turn gray: Graph, Lyc, Phos ac, Sulph ac
- For great dryness of the hair: Calc, Kalmia, Phos ac
- When the hair is frequently covered with viscid sweat: China, Merc, Fl Ac
For falling off the hair on other parts of the body are:
- In the eyebrows: Agar, Bell, Causticum, Kalmia
- When the hair falls off on the sides of the head: Graphites, Phosphorus
- On the forehead: Arsenicum, Nat m, Phos
- On the vertex: Baryta c, Graph, Lyc, Sep, Zinc
- On the occiput: Carb veg, Petrol, Phos, Silicea
- On the temples: Calc, Kali carb, Lyc, Nat mur
Externally: Spirtus phosphoria, few drops to a pint of distilled water, and after shaking, moisten well the scalp with it. Or dissolves a teaspoonful of table salt in a pint of water and rub it well over bald spaces.
Falling off of whiskers: Calc, Graphites, Natrum mur
Falling off of mustaches: Kali, Natrum mur, Plumbum met
Falling off of mons veneris: Helleborus, Natrum carb, Nat mur, Rhus tox, Sil
Most Indicated Remedies in Alopecia Generally are:
- When the hair comes out in lumps, leaving bald patches: Aloes
- When it falls out in circular patches: Arsenic.alb
- When bald spots on the temples: Calcarea carb
- Bald spot on the head, after headache: Calcium sulphide
- Falling off of hair after severe illness, or after parturition: Carbo veg
- Falling off of hair hair from eyebrows and pudendum: Helleborus
- Dry hair rapidly falling off with much dandruff: Kali carb
- Falling off of the hair after severe acute diseases: Mancinella, Thallium
- Falling out in tufts: Phosphorus
- Alopecia as a result of debility: Phosphoric acid
- The hair falls out in single spots and grey hair grows there: Vinca minor
Hair in General
- Greying hair: Thyroidinum 30 for a month followed by 200, weekly for a month
- Oleander/ Juglans regia / Calc sulph: Eruptions head with discharge
- Arnica + Cantharis + Ceanothus + Jaborandi + Bacopa + Cochlearis tincture mix for external application in hair problems
- Ceanothus + Lycopodium + Phosphorus + Rosa M 30 th potency
- Viola tricolor: Matted hair/ prurigo capitis
- Greying at the front hairline: Psorinum
- Weisbaden: Grows rapidly and become darker
- Aloes/ Fragaria: Specific
- Flour acid: Hairfall after typhoid
- Eyebrows: Kali carb; Anantherum mur when Kali carb fails
- General hair growth: Weisbaden 200
- Baldness: Ars alb/ Ustilago
- Hairfall in damp weather, itching scalp: Mag mur
- Ars alb: Baldness with dry skin and impoverished follicles
- Phos ac: After acute disease/ fever
Hair (Specific Symptoms)
- Blonde: Brom, Chel
- Dandruff: Thuja
- Dark, very: Aurum
- Dry, falling out: Thuja
- Eczema edges of hair: Nat m
- Excessive growth of hair on the body: Thuja, Abrotanum, Medorrhinum
- Falls out when touched in nursing women: Nat m, Sep
- Falls with headache: Syph
- Grief after, hairfall: Phos ac
- Haircut: Acon, Bell, Glon
- Herpes of the hair at the nape of the neck: Nat m
- Lice: Staphysagria, Carbolic ac, Psor, Apis
- Plica polonica: Tub; Borax; Psor
- Sensation of a hair on the tongue: Nat m, Sil
- Tangled easily, sticks at the tips: Borax, Flour ac, Lycopodium, Psorinum, Tuberculinum
- Tongue, hair sensation on the: Nat mur
- Red: Lach, Phos
- Unusual parts: Thuja
- Wavy, thick hair: Bary carb
To summarise, Alopecia is not a condition for self-treatment as a series of remedies will be needed to address the causation and recurrence. A professional homeopath can really help you sort the condition, after a treatment period of anywhere between 3-9 months.