“I lost my hair because of sunscreen!”

“I lost my hair because of sunscreen!”
“I lost my hair because of sunscreen!”

It all started 3 or 4 years ago, when I noticed patches on one of my eyebrows. It was itchy, red, inflamed, a bit like I had an allergy, even though I never wear makeup on my eyebrows. Then I started to lose them, partly, just one eyebrow, I found that strange!

This obviously caught my attention and I consulted a dermatologist, who thought it was a thyroid problem (the loss of the tail of the eyebrow can be a sign of hypothyroidism, Editor’s note).

So I did a blood test but which revealed that I had no thyroid problems. Then, there was Covid and I put that aside a bit.

My hairdresser alerted me!

It was my hairdresser who alerted me next, because she noticed that my skin was strange at the roots of my hair, as if the pores and bulbs had closed, and that my hair was “receding”. My hairdresser explained to me that she had another client with similar symptoms, but that her case was much more advanced.

Again, the area (the entire upper forehead this time) was red and inflamed.

I consulted again, another dermatologist this time.

She immediately diagnosed me with frontal fibrosing alopecia and showed me pictures of what I could expect: a receding hairline that could extend halfway down the top of my head, with hairless areas all around my ears.

She couldn’t tell me what it was or what level of illness I was affected at, but she put me on treatment. cortisone-based.

Research to understand what I was suffering from

I was really scared, and I needed to understand to fight better. So I did some research.

I learned that this pathology particularly affects women after menopause, and people with allergies, like me.

But most importantly, I came across a medical conference where scientists were establishing a link between this form of alopecia and a compound called titanium dioxide.

While digging, I found a very serious Australian study which incriminated titanium dioxide and more particularly sun creams, which contain it.

I immediately understood that This relationship was relevant in my case because I am very careful to protect myself from the sun, I have depigmentation caused by too much sun.

Summer and winter, I wear sunscreen when I walk

I am part of a walking club, we go out once a week, so I put on sunscreen before going out in all seasons. At least. I tell myself that it can’t be a coincidence.

I continued my research to understand what this titanium dioxide was and what I learned made me angry: scientists agree in recognizing titanium dioxide toxicity but we find it everywhere, especially in cosmetics (lipstick, foundation), sun creams, certain shampoos and even toothpastes (which we can partly swallow)… even though it is forbidden in food!

I scrutinize all the labels to check the composition of the products

When I realized that titanium dioxide was definitely the source of my problem, I wanted to put all the chances on my side and I tracked it down in the products that I used (you can identify it by the TiO2 or E171 mention, Editor’s note). Sunscreen of course, but also skin care, makeup, hygiene products…

I found it almost everywhere. I only found two brands of sunscreen without titanium dioxide, one eye pencil, and one mascara.

I can allow myself to wear lipstick exceptionally, but for everyday use, I am very careful, especially with products that we keep on the skin all day.

It paid off because 6 months after starting my elimination policy, I saw my dermatologist again who told me that my illness had stabilized, even though I had stopped the cortisone after only a few weeks, because I was having a hard time tolerating the treatment.

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