Lather, Rinse, Repeat

On Wednesday we went to see a dermatologist about Kaylee’s unexpected hair loss.  I always love going to see doctor’s recommended by our pediatrician even when we have to wait a few weeks to get in because his recommendations are usually spot on to the type of doctor we would choose for ourselves.  The dermatologist fit right into that category.

Unfortunately, my doctor’s office made the appointment for me at the dermatologists office and when they told me it was on Wednesday, December 4 at 1:20 I didn’t think about that being a problem.  However since the appointment was halfway across town, a specialist, and the boys get out of school at 2:15 on Wednesday’s it really was.  I realized that it was going to be a problem as I was getting Kaylee’s shoes and coat on to leave, so I called my parents to put them on alert and let them know I’d call them if I ran late at the doctors and needed them to pick up the kids.  (One of the many conveniences of living just a mile away from my parents!!)

Kaylee was in good spirits in the car despite having to miss her nap for this appointment.  Oh who am I kidding?  The princess does all that she can to wheedle her way out of nap and was totally excited that on this day she didn’t have to beg and plead with me.  So we get to the doctor and Kaylee instantly won the hearts of all the ladies in the reception area.  She was friendly and saying hello to everyone there and showing off her winter hat, which is something that I picked up for her last January.  It’s a bear head with little ear flaps that fall down to past her shoulders.  She’s super cute in it and she loves to show it off to anyone who will listen.  The downside is that it creates a lot of static, and her hair stands on end for hours and hours.

Once we got back to the exam room she was being a complete ham with the nurse.  She wanted to show off what a big girl she was and clambered onto the exam table without any help at all…despite completely ripping and crumpling up the paper cover in the process.  Once there she sprawled out onto the bed as if it were her royal throne.

Kaylee exam bed

Once the doctor came in I knew that our pediatrician had made a great recommendation.  Rather than talk to me about Kaylee, he talked to Kaylee herself.  He addressed all his questions and comments directly to her which made her feel more comfortable (because of course my little ham clammed up like nothing else once the doctor came in–if she were older I’d say it’s because he was young and cute, but I think at 3 she probably didn’t notice that) and made her feel involved in the process.

The exam itself didn’t take too long.  We’d cleaned up most of the scaling on her head in the weeks leading up to this appointment, but in the last few days before it had started coming back.  It was also pretty hard to miss the large bald spots on her scalp.  It took only minutes for him to diagnose her problem.  To be honest about 30 seconds after he said what it was I had already forgotten what it was that he called it, but thankfully he explained what the word meant so remembering the word itself wasn’t a high priority.

To summarize, Kaylee basically has dry scalp on steroids.  We all get dry scalp from time to time, but with her she doesn’t just get a few flakes or an itchy head, she gets severe scaling which impedes the hair follicles from growing.  He explained that the problem itself was never going to go away, but at least could be treated and kept under control.

Treatment was pretty simple.  He gave us a prescription for a special shampoo that would help get rid of the last of the scaling.  Then he recommended we switch her over to an ultra moisturizing shampoo to keep the dry scalp from forming.  He also recommended that we change the type of vitamin that we were giving her because it would help improve the look of her hair (which lately has been rather dead looking) and help it grow in quicker.

Now, over the last few years everything I’ve heard and read says that gummy vitamins are better than vitamins you swallow because chewing up the vitamin helps the body to absorb the vitamins and minerals versus just swallowing it and letting the stomach digest the vitamin.  So I have bought gummy vitamins for my kids for years.  However, the doctor said that an even better product than the gummies are the chewable hard vitamins, (a.k.a. Flinstone’s vitamins).  He said that in order to make it gummy they have to take out some of the different vitamins and minerals in order to get it into a gummy state.

So all in all, not to bad a prognosis.  Stinky shampoo for one week, different brand of shampoo after that, and new vitamins that taste like candy to the kids.  I did ask if I should expect any additional hair loss with the new shampoo and he said we shouldn’t see any further loss, and that we needed to keep watch for her hair to start growing back in.  He said it would take a few months for it to grow back in, and if we don’t see any new growth  by the end of two months we need to bring her back in, but he said there was no scarring on her head from the hair loss so he didn’t anticipate any issues with it growing back in.

We are so thankful that the problem, while scary at first, was such an easy fix.  Life doesn’t always work that way, and it’s nice to catch a break once in a while.  Especially since I can count the number of things that have gone our way on one hand lately.  Hopefully things are really starting to look up.

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