Ms Lee’s hair mysteriously fell out two years
ago, leaving her bald. She is now growing her
locks back, thanks to treatment at CGH.
It is a nightmare many of us ladies would dread – finding a
coin-sized bald patch on the scalp before the hair steadily
drops off for no apparent reason.
It was a bolt from the blue for housewife Ms Lee, 49,
when she suddenly found herself balding mysteriously two
She recalled: “The fan would blow at me and my hair would
just fly away.” It was not just the hair on her head which fell
off; she also shed her eyebrows, eyelashes, nostril hair and
some of the hair on her arms.
There were no clear answers. The doctors she first
approached at the National Skin Centre told her that she had
a hair loss condition called alopecia totalis, in which her
immune system could be attacking her own hair follicles.
But as she could not endure the chemical treatments at the
centre, which left an unbearable itch on her scalp, she soon
resigned herself to living without hair.
“It’s nothing drastic, it’s just hair,” said Ms Lee. Her
children and her husband were similarly non-plussed.
She started going around with a bandanna tied around her
head. At formal events, she would don a wig.
Then at the beginning of this year, she realised that her
eyelashes had regrown. She decided to give treatment
another shot and was recommended to Changi General
Hospital where she saw Dr Lynn Teo, Consultant for
Dr Teo conducted lab tests on Ms Lee to make sure that
she had no underlying medical problems or deficiencies
in vitamins and minerals, before proceeding with weekly
Dr Teo explained that alopecia areata (a milder variation
of alopecia totalis) strikes about 3.8% of the Singapore
population, according to a 2002 study. “There is a
suggestion of brain-skin connection, that is, increased stress
may precipitate the condition. Stress can be in the form of
stress on the body such as infections or trauma,” she said.
Dr Teo has been conducting a weekly treatment for
Ms Lee, with good results. Ms Lee’s eyebrows grew back
and in a few months, the hair on her scalp had reached an
inch in length. The aim, said Dr Teo, is for full regrowth,
which usually requires about four to six months of therapy.
“My hair is still patchy,” said Ms Lee, “but I’m very happy.
My son keeps touching my head to say that my hair is like