Hair Loss On Donor Area After Hair Transplant

donor wound hair lossQ:

It’s a little over 3 weeks after my hair transplant now and I’ve noticed there’s a 1inch in diameter bald spot roughly two inches to the left of my right ear (when viewed from the right side).  Though I had been keeping that area clean as instructed for the last 3 weeks, it hasn’t filled in, just appears to be the same size.  I’m pretty sure it’s not getting bigger.  It’s sensitive to temperature, too, like skin on the inside of the wrist. The last scab fell off today while washing, but it was nearly as big as the spot, .3cm x .75cm big right at the center of the spot.

There’s also numbness still concentrated right around the bald spot.  This is the first time I’ve ever seen a circular bald spot on the donor area, so it’s scary. Is there something I should do? Does trauma cause fallout even in donor areas?  I’ve been taking 1.25mg finasteride daily, prior to, during and after surgery. In retrospect, except for a few erratic glucose levels (low and high) I actually think I’ve taken better care of my head this time than the 3 previous surgeries, so I’m worried.

What’s the likelihood of it growing back granted the area isn’t scarred over? A quarter-sized bald spot doesn’t make sense to me because that makes it seem like the wound healed while gaping open. That area was sensitive this whole time, but I never noticed any infection or excess oozing after the first few days, so it seems only possible that the hair around a fixed point on the wound got shocked and fell out.

Please advise,

A:

Thanks for the email.

You are right and the hairless spot is probably due to shock loss around the donor wound area. You have had a tight closure at the donor wound. I guess the tight closure has caused some shock loss and the areas on both sides of the scalp are very typical for shock loss.

When it happens, it is usually seen on both sides. The shock loss around the donor wound is almost always reversible and hair will usually come back. Re-growth of hair that is fallen due to the shock loss may take up to 6 months and recovery may be gradual.

There is not much that could be done at this point. However, you need to be seen and examined to confirm the diagnosis. The numbness around the donor area, if it occurs, may last for weeks to months and has to do with the inflammation of the healing area that may affect the fine nerves on the area. It generally gets better on its own.