The Dermatologist, My Father and Me

To cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always.  Abstract:  The patient, a teenage boy with early male-pattern alopecia, is brought to a respected academic dermatologist at a famous medical center for an opinion.  Sixty years later, the experience still resonates. Keywords:  doctor-patient communication, alopecia, baldness, consultation, cruelty, male pattern alopecia My father was especially sensitive about being bald, which, in the context of the 1950’s, was not unusual.  So, when I was in my mid-teens, and the familiar signs of thinning and receding hair began to show, he took me to see a dermatologist. Determined to spare no expense to find a cure for my impending affliction he had … Continue reading

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Chronic Telogen Effluvium?

Chronic Telogen Effluvium Hope never dies.  Having lived with chronic telogen effluvium for 14 years, I still find myself hopeful that  the current shedding that I am experiencing will be my last, that the new ¼ inch hairs that are now sprouting on my scalp will be the real thing – that they will live out the normal cycle of hair growth and shedding.  Yet, I know realistically that this is not what will happen.  I continually shed and grow hair, but the cycle is such that by the time new ¼-inch hairs reach a length of two inches, the old two inch hairs shed.  Consequently, my hair is always … Continue reading

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