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#1 normguy1954

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 07:38 AM

I recently moved to NC and decided to inquire about fraxel for my scars as a pre-SMP treatment.  I went to a clinic in Raleigh and spoke with a very friendly lady named Lisa.  I explained about my HT, scarring, and plans on getting the SMP at Hishair.  I told her many are saying that treating the scars first has been beneficial.

 

Lisa told me about a treatment that she does called micro-needling.  After reading more about it I think it is also the same as using a derma-roller, or at least it is similar. She said that the fraxel and the needling both accomplish the same thing, in that they damage the skin (scar) and cause the body to produce collagen to heal and help restore a more natural appearance.  It is just a matter of how each type of treatment is applied.

 

She showed me her appliance, and explained in detail how it works.  She says she can work on more specific areas with her needling "pen" and can control the depth and the intensity better than with the fraxel.  Plus needling is cheaper. 

 

I told her that in this forum I have read other's accounts of noticing some improvement in scars just from the SMP needle being used.  Some have even mentioned wanting to find someone who would dry needle their scars without using any pigment.  I guess this micro needling is basically just that.

 

So I think I will go for a few sessions with Lisa and have her work on the cobble scarring on the top/front of my head for now.  If I can see improvement in that area I might continue with the scarring in the back, although I have both a linear scar and old plug donor scars.  Not sure how that might work. 

 

But if I can get the top scarring to look better it would help for when I decide to get the  SMP treatment.  My goal is to deal with the scarring at first.  I doubt I will do the entire head.  

 

One thing Lisa mentioned is not being sure if her procedure might cause the hair on top to not grow back.  I told her if things work as planned I wouldn't care if it did or not as that area would be treated with the pigment anyway.  But just out of curiosity, does anyone have any knowledge of personal experience concerning this?

 

I will post more details after I have a couple of sessions.  Lisa said the treatment should also help minimize the redness on my scalp.  I never understood why, after all these years, there is still so much redness in the recipient area on top of my head.  Seems as if it should have gone away by now.  When I had more hair it was covered better, but now that much of my hair is gone, both my own and the transplanted hair, the redness shows up more, especially in certain lighting conditions.

 

That's all for now... 


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#2 DJ83

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 07:51 PM

Hey Norm, I have had 3 smp treatments thus far. I have a strip scar from temple to temple and have noticed that certain areas of my scar have gotten smoother it seems, I have also been using bio oil like crazy on my scar which so far has seemed to help diminish some of the redness as well. May give that a try on your recipient areas your concerned about. Been using it three times a day for about a month now.


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#3 normguy1954

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 08:37 PM

Hey Norm, I have had 3 smp treatments thus far. I have a strip scar from temple to temple and have noticed that certain areas of my scar have gotten smoother it seems, I have also been using bio oil like crazy on my scar which so far has seemed to help diminish some of the redness as well. May give that a try on your recipient areas your concerned about. Been using it three times a day for about a month now.

 

I have been reading about this bio-oil and think it is worth a try.  I hope the micro-needling will help the scars on top.  I appreciate your feedback.  Good luck with your progress as well...



#4 Nightwood

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Posted 07 May 2015 - 01:06 AM

You could always get a derma-roller and some solution to wash it in, it'll be a lot more cost effective as a trial. Essentially its exactly the same just you can do it anytime you like and you won't be charged a premium for someone else to do it.



#5 normguy1954

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Posted 07 May 2015 - 08:35 PM

You could always get a derma-roller and some solution to wash it in, it'll be a lot more cost effective as a trial. Essentially its exactly the same just you can do it anytime you like and you won't be charged a premium for someone else to do it.

 

I am going to try a few sessions at this clinic first.  The practitioner is a nurse and seemed very knowledgeable and experienced.  I want to see how the treatments work with her, and then at some point I could see about getting my own appliance and maybe working on the scars on the back of my head.  Hopefully I will see some positive results, especially on the top where the scarring is most noticeable.  Thanks for your advice, though.  It is nice to get feedback from others... 



#6 normguy1954

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 02:10 AM

I made an appointment for a first session next week.  I will post afterwards how it goes.  Hopefully I can achieve some improvement with the scarring on top before I decide to have the SMP done.



#7 normguy1954

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 11:17 PM

I have my first micro-needling treatment done tomorrow in Raleigh.  The practitioner told me to shave the top of my head myself so she could just do the procedure when I get there.  So today I shaved and boy, does it look strange having no hair now on top.  Not that I had much before, but it gave the illusion of hair.  When I took a hand-held mirror to look closer I was amazed at how large the area of scarring is from the original h/t surgeries.  It looks pretty bad.  

Hopefully a few treatments with this lady and the scarring and redness will be less noticeable and then I can move ahead with my SMP.



#8 HIS - Ed

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 10:41 AM

Wishing you every success there Normguy, look forward to an update.



#9 normguy1954

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 11:15 AM

Wishing you every success there Normguy, look forward to an update.

 

Thanks very much, Ed.  I think that if I had shaved the top of my head 10 or maybe even 5 years ago and saw how badly scarred it is I might have freaked out.  This time I have a sense that it is just the beginning of a new part of my life where I will eventually be able to live each day without having my hair situation always preying on my mind.  It is scary in a way, but if I don't make a move now I will never do it.  I will post more when I see how the first treatment goes.

This lady who I met with for my consultation is very nice.  I liked and trusted her right away.  She told me she can control the depth and strength of the needling appliance as she sees fit, depending on what she is trying to accomplish.  I am going to tell her to be as aggressive as possible.   After all the needles, pokes, plugs, and stuff I have had done on my head I have little feeling there anymore.  I want her to do what ever is necessary to get these scars taken care of.  Then it will be on to the next step in the process.


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#10 normguy1954

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 11:14 AM

The first treatment went well.  This lady is very nice and has much experience but I am her first male/scalp client. 

I have to say it was quite uncomfortable, but not terrible.  I have had so many needles, and punches, and grafts, and stuff done to my head that nothing really bothers me there anymore.  But I was surprised I still had so much feeling up there.  I figured the nerves would be pretty much dead by now.

One thing she noticed was that my scalp was rather rough and had uneven in texture.  I have never had a healthy scalp from the very first h/t I had in 1990.  I have been to doctor's too many to remember.  Been treated for seborrhea, dandruff, eczema, you name it. Tried lotions, potions, treatments of all kinds.  Sometimes it is better than other times but it never goes away.  So this lady says the micro-needling will help to stimulate healthier skin.

Today my scalp is a bit sore and red.  I have to put ointment on for a couple days to keep it moist.  

I go back in three weeks for a second session.  She was quite aggressive with her needling appliance, but I told her not to be timid.  I want results so she really went to town on me

I hope she sees noticeable improvement with my scars and even my skin in general when I go back..  



#11 HIS - Ed

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Posted 27 June 2015 - 10:48 PM

Thanks for that Normguy, I know I speak for everyone here (not that I
have to) when I say I hope the next update is positive. 

There is some
professional curiosity too of course - would be great to hear that micro
needling provides a step towards improved condition in a scar,
especially in a challenging situation like yours.

If it can make a significant improvement to skin health so much the better, that would
certainly be of value to a HIS Hair technician.

All the best

Ed



#12 normguy1954

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 01:06 AM

Thanks, Ed.  My main focus in having this done is scar improvement.  That is for sure.  But part of the healing process that might result in less visible scars is hopefully better skin too.  As I said before, i am convinced that the original ht surgeries started my long battle with an unhealthy scalp, which in turn contributed to continued hair loss.  I also feel the healthier my skin can be, the better the SMP might work when the time comes.

 

I was able to wash my head for the first time today.  I could feel it itching but I am assuming that is a sign the skin is starting to heal.  I have to apply a cream twice a day.  I haven't really looked very close at my scalp since Thursday.  It doesn't help to be too curious as to how it looks right now.  What I will be anxious to find out is how it looks in a few weeks when I go back for treatment two.

 

I will follow this same advice when I get the SMP done.  Looking too closely and trying to judge results too soon isn't good.  My philosophy is just let it be for awhile.  



#13 normguy1954

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 04:57 PM

Good news and bad news here.  The good news is the recovery from the micro-needling went fine.  Not problems.  Some slight discomfort but nothing to speak of, really.

 

The bad news is that apparently the procedure can trigger flareups of some skin/scalp disorders.  I have been battling seborrheic dermatitis for much of my adult life.  Often I am not aware of it, sometimes I am somewhat, and then there are times when it flares up big time.  

 

I have been borderline with it for the past couple months but didn't consider it to be a factor in getting the micro-needling done. My practitioner did mention she could see, but more so feel that my scalp wasn't in that great a shape.

 

I woke up in the night with my head itching like crazy.  What I had thought was itching from healing turned out to be a major, full-blown flareup of my seborrhea.  It was bad. The redness, the greasy scales that you can scrape off with your finger nails, etc.  Gross.

 

I emailed my practitioner and she just called me.  Apparently there is a risk, when having micro-needling done, that certain chronic skin conditions can be triggered.  I guess that  stressing the skin/scalp can bring about positive results, but can also cause some temporary (hopefully) problems as well.

 

So her recommendation (and she has a background in dermatology) is to treat the seborrhea and see if I can't get that under control.  Then when I get closer to my next appointment with her later in July we can see how it is and decide whether or not to have another treatment.

 

My main concern is this, though.  If my scalp is going to be constantly fighting off this condition, will it interfere with my being a good candidate for SMP?  I mean, I assume the people doing the SMP would want to work on a healthy "canvas" but what if guys like me don't have scalps that are in great shape?

 

 Has anyone else been through something similar with either seborrhea or psoriasis and still have the SMP done?  I am starting to think I might be further away from a final resolution to my baldness and scarring than I thought.  It is easy to get discouragde...



#14 HIS - Ed

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 01:03 PM

Hi Normguy. 

 

What a terrible experience. Feel for you I really do. Hope it clears up very quickly.

 

Personally I am woefully under-qualified to give you an answer, but if you can leave it with me for now I will ask the question of our own pet dermatologist... I mean a dermatologist who is our pet... not one who specializes in pets.

 

Back in touch soon.

 

Ed



#15 Nightwood

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 01:39 PM

There has been 2 guys I can recall who did SMP who suffered with Seb Derm, I'm sorry I cannot recall the usernames though, I remember them saying they felt SMP treatment actually helped combat the SD though but since you had a reaction to a similar process it'd be best to combat it before continuing further. 

Have you tried switching shampoo's to Nizoral? comes recommended by the British NHS as a treatment and it's good for maintaining hair as well. Can be bought over the counter without prescriptions in the UK, not sure if its still prescription only in the states as it suggests below but the link is a few years old so that may have changed.

http://www.ncbi.nlm....les/PMC3100109/

Ketoconazole 2% shampoo (Nizoral, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a Division of McNeil-PPC, Inc.). Ketoconazole is an imidazole antifungal agent with activity against Malassezia spp and possibly a mild direct antiinflammatory effect.3 A total of seven double-blind, randomized, vehicle-controlled trials were identified using ketoconazole shampoo or cream in an “evidence-based” review, with the largest trial (N=575) demonstrating excellent clinical results in 88 percent of subjects.8 Importantly, ketoconazole 2% shampoo, available by prescription in the United States, has been shown to be more effective than ketoconazole 1% shampoo (P<0.001), available over the counter in the United States, more effective than selenium sulfide 2.5% shampoo (P=0.0026) for SD, and better tolerated than selenium sulfide 2.5% shampoo.1213 The usual recommended frequency with ketoconazole 2% shampoo is twice weekly over a usual duration of four weeks.3,8,12,13 Intermittent use of ketoconazole 2% shampoo, such as once weekly, has been shown to be effective in preventing relapse of SD.1214 The favorable safety profile of ketoconazole 2% shampoo is supported by studies demonstrating negligible percutaneous absorption and low potential for irritancy or contact sensitivity.8


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#16 normguy1954

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 06:29 PM

I appreciate the feedback.  It is always helpful to hear from other fellows.

 

I have tried everything under the sun in the 25+ years I have been dealing with this.  Every shampoo, every treatment, medication, rinse, etc.  You name it, I have tried it.  

I can usually maintain pretty good for the most part.  I mean I had the h/t surgeries done, and the repair surgeries done and none of the doctors said anything about my scalp being a problem.  But for some reason the past several weeks I could tell that it was starting to flare up.  I don't know the reason.  I got out of my normal routine of using  certain shampoos and products since I have moved here.  But it didn't seem like it would matter a whole lot.  But perhaps I was wrong.

 

Usually when I get a flareup I can deal with it and it goes away.  But for some reason this one is probably the worst since my original outbreak when I was in my early 20's.  I am not sure it is just because of having that treatment last week.  But the practitioner did say that people with psoriasis can sometimes react because she says it is an auto-immune condition and the needling can stimulate it in a negative way.  But I don't have psoriasis, I have seb derm. I have had so many needles stuck in my head from all the surgeries in the past and never had a problem.  I think something else is going on with my system and it just happened to coincide with this treatment.

 

I am going to a dermatologist tomorrow.  But to be honest, other than being able to get prescription strength  stuff, I have never felt the most derms I have gone to were all that helpful.  They just look at my scalp and say what it is and tell me to do the same things that all the rest have told me, and the same things I have been doing for years anyway.

 

Oh well, hopefully it will clear up.  I look strange as it is without hair on top, and now my scalp is all scaly and red.  Good thing I am a hat person.  Plus going through this now is better than having it happen later on if I get the SMP done.



#17 HIS - Ed

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 10:59 AM

Tough stuff Normguy, stay positive. Every step gets you closer to the end of the journey, we will all look back at this one day, from a much happier situation, as just the place you were in for a while.



#18 normguy1954

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 08:44 PM

Tough stuff Normguy, stay positive. Every step gets you closer to the end of the journey, we will all look back at this one day, from a much happier situation, as just the place you were in for a while.

 

Your words are very encouraging.  I have vowed that I will see this through to the end.  I have screwed around for too long trying to cope with the aftermath of my transplant surgeries.  I am not going to do it anymore.  I know there is an end to all of it and I hope it will be a positive one.  Once I get this scalp thing under control and decide about having any more micro-needling or laser treatments, the next step is doing the SMP.  

Even though we see our own problems as insurmountable at times, I just found out a long- time lady friend back home has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  I sit here and realize that my problems pale in comparison with someone like her.  It is all in how we look at things.  I am thankful for a lot, even if I did make bad choices years ago about my hair loss.  There is always someone else who has a rougher road to travel on.


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#19 HIS - Ed

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 06:56 PM

Absolutely right Normguy, I suspect we are of a similar vintage and it is difficult to get this far without losing some close friends along the way. While it should help improve our perspective on things, and I am sure it has helped with my own, I am amazed how quickly people can snap back into their ways and get obsessed with the trivial... or at least the less important.

 

I suppose the response from the HIS Hair clinical team was predictable in hindsight, that they really need to see your scalp. And perform a patch test... though that would probably need to wait until you have things under control.  That said, there is probably some value in their being able to see your scalp while it is inflamed.



#20 normguy1954

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 03:56 AM

Absolutely right Normguy, I suspect we are of a similar vintage and it is difficult to get this far without losing some close friends along the way. While it should help improve our perspective on things, and I am sure it has helped with my own, I am amazed how quickly people can snap back into their ways and get obsessed with the trivial... or at least the less important.

 

I suppose the response from the HIS Hair clinical team was predictable in hindsight, that they really need to see your scalp. And perform a patch test... though that would probably need to wait until you have things under control.  That said, there is probably some value in their being able to see your scalp while it is inflamed.

I have already been for a consultation last January in Toronto when I still lived up near that area, in NY.  My scalp was OK then, so it wasn't an issue.

 Actually in the past few days I have had a much improved scalp, and I have also learned a lot from this whole situation. First, it was good practice for seeing how I would look again with my head shaved, at least on top.  About 30 years ago, prior to H/T, I did have a very short buzz cut.  I think i still look good with hardly any hair, and I would do the buzz again were it not for the scars.  Also, good that I am getting the scalp condition back under control now than to have it happen right before a scheduled SMP treatment.  I have changed some of my normal regime, have learned some new things about triggers and treatments.  So I try to put a positive spin on it all.  And keep forging ahead....






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