Physician Answered Q & As

Concered About Thinning and Irritation On Hair Transplant Donor Scar

I had a transplant about one year ago to hide a scar from a brow lift. Unfortunately, the scar is still very visible, but what I’m most worried about is the dramatic thinning of my hair along the donor scar line and below it. In fact, right now, I have an irritation, the second one in a month, that is about an inch wide. This one burns and appears infected. My doctor thinks it was just an ingrown hair, but I’ve never had one like this ever! Could I be having thinning hair and irritations because of my hair transplant. Will it stop? Is it likely my hair will ever regrow what I’ve lost since the hair transplant? -Susan

As for your donor area, it does sound like you have local infection and inflammation at the site.  This could have started, as your doctor said, with an ingrown hair and may have spread to the surrounding area.  It could also be what doctors call an “inclusion body” like a stitch that did not dissolve and is instead working it’s way towards the surface.  Again, I cannot tell without examining you, but either way, having your doctor treat the area either with incision and drainage or with antibiotics is a wise idea.  Shock loss can happen in the donor area from the brief interruption in blood supply during the surgery, but it never fails to re-grow.  Your situation is slightly different since your hair has thinned, so it is difficult to predict if you will regain the thickness in that area.  Unfortunately, if it has been a year, your chances of re-growth are lower, but it IS likely to stop.  Rogaine can help grow the hair thicker in that area, and laser treatments (like with a hood laser in a doctor’s office) may also be beneficial.

The important thing is to not give up!  Hair takes time to grow, and I never stop a treatment for lack of effect before I have given it at least a year to work.  Also, if your doctor does a lot of hair transplantation, he or she has likely seen something like this in the past, and I can guarantee they want to help.  Good luck and I hope that helps!


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