Question: I was playing football 2 months ago and I got hit by an elbow in my head very badly and a bump appeared after weeks the bump went down and no hair grew at the spot after, now I am wondering if I am experiencing permanent hair loss which I am worrying about because I am very young. Can my hair grow back?
Answer: Hi, Ryan. I am sorry to hear about your accident. I know it is easy to say but do try not to worry about this, especially as it is likely to be a temporary issue.
Next time you watch a Premier League football match, take a look at the players' hair - you'll often notice the odd professional footballer sporting a similar bald spot so you're in good company!
As you injured the scalp, I advise you to book a consultation with a dermatologist or hair loss specialist who can examine your scalp and discuss whether or not you would require any treatment.
It is possible the accident has caused temporary hair loss due to the injury in the area. The hair may have been pulled somehow, or, if the wound developed a crust during recovery, this may have led to the area losing hair temporarily. If this is the case, new regrowth is usually seen shortly after the skin recovers.
If you have developed Alopecia Areata (AA), characterised by a singular bald spot or multiple rounded, oval patches of hair loss to the scalp, this is slightly more complicated. Again though, the hair is still likely to regrow in most cases, with this occurring naturally within 12 months. There are also Alopecia Areata treatment courses which may help to promote accelerated hair growth, depending on how old you are.
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder which causes white blood cells to attack the hair follicles, disrupting the hair growth cycle and making them lose their hair. This results in sudden-onset hairloss.
The exact cause of AA is unknown, but it is known to be autoimmune in nature and, therefore, it may not be related to your injury. Common triggers include recent mental and physical stress, dietary deficiencies, infections, and occasionally genetic predisposition.
If the football injury you experienced caused a significant, sudden shock this could be a reason for AA, but as you have found a newly developed bald-looking patch on your scalp, it is worth checking with a dermatologist or, again - depending on your age - a hair loss specialist to get a confirmed diagnosis.
The prognosis of Alopecia Areata is very unpredictable - in some people the patchy hair loss will grow back, whilst in others it may not, or it may grow back then recur at a later date, or it may spread to other areas of the scalp, head or body. However, as I mentioned previously, good hair regrowth is seen in most cases.
Occasionally this new hair may appear white or pale when it first starts growing back, but this is nothing to worry about and generally its normal pigmentation will return later on.
Depending on the severity of the injury, it is worth noting that there is a chance the hair loss may be permanent, too. If there is deep damage of the skin impacting the hair follicles and forming scar tissue, this would mean follicles would no longer be active and would, therefore, be incapable of producing hairs. This is known as scarring alopecia or cicatricial alopecia and causes permanent hair loss due to this destruction of the hair follicles.
This is why it is important to have a consultation with a hair specialist or dermatologist who can examine the area thoroughly and advise you further as to the precise problem and recommend appropriate treatments for the condition based on their findings, your age and medical profile.
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