(female) The hair on one side of my head has thinned considerably over the last 8 years or so. (I am currently 40 years old.) This is probably related to a port wine stain that covers the right side of my neck and continues up onto my scalp on the entire right side of my head. When I was first born, the doctors warned my mother that I may not ever have hair where the birthmark is located but luckily, this wasn’t the case. I couldn’t distinguish a difference between the stained area and the rest of my head until the last 8 years. Is this a typical response for this type of situation?
I have had laser surgery performed on the birthmark a number of times over the years, first with the argon laser and more recently with the pulse dye laser. Most treatments have focused on the visible areas of my neck but a couple pulse dye treatments were carrried up into my scalp. This may or may not coincide with the hair loss. I’m really not sure. (Both happened within the last 8 to 10 years but I just can’t seem to sort out which came first.)
Is Rogaine effective in this type of situation? Is there some other treatment option I could pursue? Like most people, I am limited to treatments that aren’t extravegently expensive or are covered, at least somewhat, by insurance.
I am not aware of any association between hair loss and port-wine stains. On the other hand, high energy lasers have been used successfully for removal of unwanted hair. It is likely that the laser treatment has caused or accelerated you hair loss in the area of treatment if the area of hair loss conforms to the treatment area. You might want to slow down the laser treatments. If your hair loss is because of laser treatment, your hair may grow back within next few months. Find out from your laser doctor the depth of penetration of the laser. If it does not go deeper than 2mm, chances are that the hair will grow back.