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What are these white spots & lines and what's causing them to form on my scalp??


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Hi guys!

So I’ve been losing hair for probably 2-3 years now albeit very slowly. Unfortunately I didn’t decide to do anything about it until a few months ago. I use minoxidil and derma roller. I’m consistent with the minoxidil but derma roller I’m kind of on and off. Ive been on minoxidil for about 3 months now. 

I usually cut my hair with a 1 (3mm) or 2 (6mm) clip, and today I decided to buzz my head without a guard (0). I immediately notice these whiter spots/areas on my scalp. Apologies for the quality of the pics, but I’m sure they’re apparent enough to notice. I say lines because some of them look like straight up lines when looking at them from a front perspective. 

The only thing I can say is I don’t use shampoo/conditioner. Though I’m not sure it has anything to do with that. I literally haven’t used shampoos/conditioners in 5+ years. But when applying minoxidil and rubbing it on my scalp I notice gunks of what look like oil & dirt buildups coming off.  Not sure if relevant or related but thought I should mention as some very quick research showed that monoxidil buildup can decrease/inhibit absorption of future minoxidil applications. To remedy this, I went ahead and bought some Nizoral which I will be using 3 to 4x per week (assuming thats actually what it is). 

Im just kind of freaking out a bit here. Its one thing to have diffuse thinning, and eventually go slick bald (granted I dont do anything about it). But now my scalp looks completely uneven with some areas being normal, alongside random white spots. I must emphasize that these are NOT dandruff flakes that most complain about with minoxidil use. These are like the skin on the scalp is straight up lighter than the surrounding skin. It's not itchy, a rash, or any raised skin/infalmmation. I dont get it. Its like sunspots on the scalp, thats my best description. My thinning hair has never been very noticeable, but these spots on my head certainly are. Also, these things just formed within the past 3-4 weeks. At first a few spots, and today I noticed theres a cluster. 

Anybody here know what the white spots could be are? I'd definitely appreciate any guidance. THANK YOU!

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I'm not sure what those white spots are to be honest.  I've never heard of that side effect from minoxidil.  I'm wondering if your scalp got a little sunburn and it's just peeling? 🤷‍♂️

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Worth seeing your doctor/healthcare provider  to see if this is fungal, and if so they may say to use Nizoral or Selsun blue shampoo for a few weeks, (I just read that you are on Nizoral). If it is fungal then this will help but patches can take a while to go. This can appear more so after getting sun on the scalp. Do you have it elsewhere as in forehead etc and any darker patches aside from the white ones?  Let us know what a doctor says but I would not be suprised if it is were to be a superficial fungal issue on the skin from the patches and pattern of it. Take care and try not to worry and I am sure it can be cleared up..

Edited by sl

I represent Dr. Bisanga.

 

Dr. Christian Bisanga is recommended on the Hair Transplant Network

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, sl said:

Worth seeing your doctor/healthcare provider  to see if this is fungal, and if so they may say to use Nizoral or Selsun blue shampoo for a few weeks, (I just read that you are on Nizoral). If it is fungal then this will help but patches can take a while to go. This can appear more so after getting sun on the scalp. Do you have it elsewhere as in forehead etc and any darker patches aside from the white ones?  Let us know what a doctor says but I would not be suprised if it is were to be a superficial fungal issue on the skin from the patches and pattern of it. Take care and try not to worry and I am sure it can be cleared up..

Hi & thanks for your response. I suppose it may be fungal although I have no idea how that may have came to be. I just bought Nizoral and will actually just be using it for the first time shortly. 

 

I don't have any other white or dark patches elsewhere. This is srictly on my scalp for some reason. Im guessing it may either be from minoxidil residue staying on my head, or because I use the dermaroller without really cleaning it thoroughly with alcohol before and after use. I just usually run boiling water over it for a bit.

I will say though that I have a spot or two of flat warts on my scalp. I used to derma-roll more often and I try to avoid these spots as to not puncture them and spread the warts over my head. But at the same time, I highly doubt these are the flat warts spreading. First, flat warts dont get that large. Second, flat warts are raised, even if just a bit. Third, flat warts are typically skin-colored or even dark/light brown (and these are white patches im dealing with). AND another thing is I had some weird infection in my tongue last week, the tip of my tongue burned when making contact with my baking soda toothpaste or when rising mouth with listerine. Weirdly enough tongue didnt look different whatsoever. Weird additions to my post i know, but I probably should've included these in the main post even though they might not be 100% relevant.

I really hope Nizoral does the trick because these spots are pretty bad (the pics do no justice really due to the lighting overhead making them look less apparent).

Edited by kingbzzr
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We all have fungus on the skin, just some are more prone to overgrowth and it can be due to oils applied, sun, diet etc...A doctor/dermatologist should be able to tell if you can see them and if it is a superficial growth then one line of action is the antifungal shampoo route...Nizoral is fine but Selsun blue will make you smell of sulphur for a good while! 

If it is confirmed as fungal then look also at diet and avoid wine/beer etc and things that can contribute to its growth. Shampoo will help if so but as said the white patches will take time to get pigmentation back again. 

I am saying this as I have seen this condition and patches very similar to yours before so hopefully it is a simple issue and they may say be careful with the sun as I have seen this be a trigger also.

 

 

 

I represent Dr. Bisanga.

 

Dr. Christian Bisanga is recommended on the Hair Transplant Network

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, sl said:

We all have fungus on the skin, just some are more prone to overgrowth and it can be due to oils applied, sun, diet etc...A doctor/dermatologist should be able to tell if you can see them and if it is a superficial growth then one line of action is the antifungal shampoo route...Nizoral is fine but Selsun blue will make you smell of sulphur for a good while! 

If it is confirmed as fungal then look also at diet and avoid wine/beer etc and things that can contribute to its growth. Shampoo will help if so but as said the white patches will take time to get pigmentation back again. 

I am saying this as I have seen this condition and patches very similar to yours before so hopefully it is a simple issue and they may say be careful with the sun as I have seen this be a trigger also.

 

 

 

I don’t want to write off the sun exposure possibility, though I don’t spend more than a few minutes directly under the sun on a daily basis. I do use sunscreen but not on the scalp so this could be possible. As a young teenager I did suffer from slight white patches on the cheeks from extended sun exposure (they’re called sunspots but the white kind, I forget the scientific name). It took months but they did go away.

im going to buy an anti dandruff iron comb to get the gunk out of my hair every other day and hopefully aid in minoxidil absorption. I’m going to forego the derma rollers indefinitely until I get the warts under control for good. 

as I mentioned, I will be using Nizoral but I can buy Sesun Blue as well. Would these be something I can use together? Like nizoral 3x per week and sesun 3x per week? Or would that simply be overkill? 

Edited by kingbzzr
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Depends really if the issue is fungal, if so then to alternate both is not a bad idea as they work differently so it is an approach that dermatologists often use for fungus, and in the case I know this was the exact approach and to take for 4 to 6 weeks as such with a little bit of one one day and the other the next etc...the Selsun will smell a little more and make sure to shake it well before you use that. 

 

 

Edited by sl

I represent Dr. Bisanga.

 

Dr. Christian Bisanga is recommended on the Hair Transplant Network

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Hi, this is about a week old, hopefully the original poster comes back and sees this. 

I've occasionally lurked on the forum here over the years, but I saw the pics in your post and decided to join so I could put this on your radar, and everyone else for that matter. I don't want to freak you out unnecessarily, but like has been said about seeing a doctor,  I definitely agree, not just for maintaining what hair you have, but especially if you are planning on having ht procedures.

 

Those spots could be due to a scarring alopecia -they are a relatively rare set of skin diseases where your immune system gets triggered and attacks and destroys the hair follicles. They don't know yet what causes them, no cures, they can last for years, spontaneously burn out, occasionally flare up. Depending on the severity/aggressiveness of the case,  they create 'scarring' bald spots/areas where the hair follicles no longer exist -if you google 'scarring alopecia' you'll see crazy worse case scenarios and non-related gross bs that the internet is always good for, but the outcomes are not always that dramatic. And sometimes there aren't even surface inflammatory symptoms, while under the skin surface the hair follicles are being attacked.

 

I was diagnosed with a scarring alopecia called Lichen Planopilaris about 8 yrs ago, but maybe had it a few years earlier - I also have a common skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis that causes some occasional mild-moderate scalp inflammation -redness, itching, so disentangling what is actually causing a surface symptom on my head is not straight forward. But at least mine has been relatively mild, haven't lost alot of hair, some splotchy bald/scar spots like yours -even after giving up on treatment about 5 yrs ago (too many drugs for too long for what amounts to never-ending symptom management, and I don't want to risk getting something worse like a cancer from multi-year drug side effects).

 

These can be difficult to diagnose and treat, mine was confirmed with a skin biopsy. And I was surprised initially to find that some dermatologists in my area refused to take me on as a patient, due to their lack of experience with scarring alopecias, and the difficulty in managing them. Which then made me suspicious when I came across the occasional doctor that would agree to take me as a patient -how really good were they? lol. So I ended up making a few trips a year to a top dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic where they deal more with the rare and exotic. After almost three years of regimens -medicated shampoos, topical corticosteriods, creams, couple of different pill types that fight some surface yeast/fungal whatever, skin vitamin formula supplement...it did reduce the mild-moderate inflammation on my head but never completely got rid of it, and it was just too much effort, drugs, for something that has never even been that dramatic in terms of inflammation, or hair loss -fortunately so far, knock on wood.

 

So again to anyone reading this, esp if you are thinking about a first or next hair transplant, and you notice strange spots/areas on your head that look bare/scar-like, get it checked out by a doctor because if you transplant more hair into the scarring spots, even if the disease is dormant now, it could re-activate and you could lose those follicles too. -And take finasteride to help keep as many of the hair follicles you do have working and producing visible hair. Also there's oral Minoxidil too, I stopped using the topical form after the diagnosis because the alcohol could trigger skin inflammation but I'm taking that now too.

 

 

Edited by ciaus
removed quote w/pics to unclutter thread
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