After having a bald spot on the left side of my head for 28 years, I’d like to do something about it. The bald spot is circular in shape and 2cm in diameter, about 7cm directly above my left ear. The hair fell out when I was 2 and the bald spot has remained the same size for as long as I can remember. I am able to cover it with hair surrounding it, but it does take an emotional toll on me as I see it every day and I have to be very careful every month when having my haircut.
I saw a dermatologist about a year ago who told me it’s triangular alopecia. He was not able to locate any hair follicles under the skin, and told me the chance of regrowth is slim to none, especially as there has been no hair there for 28 years. He suggested we first try cortisone injections which did not work, and then referred me to a specialist. I went to see a specialist and he recommended scalp reduction surgery given the small area and lack of hair follicles.
I’ve done some reading on scalp reduction surgery, on your blog and others. The risks seem to be significant (stretchback, slot scaring, hair angled incorrectly, etc.) and it’s clear you’re not a proponent. I’ve also been unable to find any success stories/testimonials online. I’m going to ask the specialist to share more information (# of surgeries he’s done, before/after photos, # of surgeries I’ll need, risks, type of incision, etc.), but before doing so I’m hoping to get your advice.
Given the small area (2cm in diameter) and being able to cover with existing hair, do you think this is a case for a successful scalp reduction surgery? If not, are there any alternatives you’d suggest (e.g., Rogaine, hair transplant)? Both my dad and grandpa have full heads of hair, so I’m not really worry about the hair on the left side of my head receding back to the site of the bald spot.
Thanks for your help!
Scalp reduction surgery, in my opinion, generally carries more risks than benefits. Small scars such as you describe do not do well with scalp reductions, as I have seen many patients for consultations over the years with failed scalp reduction / scar revision surgeries and difficult scars that result from the surgery.
Triangular alopecia is best treated with hair transplant surgery.
For a better assessment diagnosis and treatment options, please follow up with your doctor. Or if you are in the Los Angeles area, you can also visit me for a consultation.