Hi Dr Rassman – In my late teens I had a bald patch appear in the back of my head that was diagnosed as alopecia areata, but it all subsequently grew back within a few months and has been normal since then. I’m now 30 and I’m thinking about a transplant to my hairline, I’m wondering if the previous alopecia areata puts me at additional risk for shock loss or any other complications (I’m already on Propecia). Thanks in advance.
Alopecia areata will often disappear months after it first appears. There is always a risk of it reappearing at any time, but considering how many years it is since its last appearance, it seems unlikely.
Alopecia areata (AA) is often regional so if you are genetically balding (more patterned loss) and the diseased area is outside the area of your need, it can be transplanted knowing that there is a remote risk of AA appearing in the recipient area. If the desire is to transplant a bald spot created by AA, then there are two conditions that I feel must be met:
- The AA has not been active for at least 3 years
- A biopsy should be performed to rule out it being active at this time