Saturday, August 18, 2012

Anthralin Update: Week 6

I didn't do an update last week and I don't really have much of one for this week. I went through this terrible peeling phase and I am so thankful that seems to have ended. I still peel a little, but it is more of a dandruff than a sunburn peel.

The one issue is that I am SO ITCHY. I seriously look like I must have lice or something because I always catch myself absentmindedly scratching my head. And scratching your head in a wig is like trying to do it through a hat- not very satisfying. Especially through the scalp area of the wig, which is like a solid piece of material that makes it look like a natural scalp showing in my part. Sometimes when no one is looking I just reach up under the wig and scratch.

Its not torturous itching, just always there.

I've noticed some traffic coming into the site by people researching Anthralin. If you are here because you have Psoriasis (what Anthralin is designed for) then I can't really help you. But if you are here because of Alopecia, then hi! I will give a quick recap on my treatment so far:

I just finished week 6, so I am still early in my treatment (can take 3 months to see results) and I am not seeing any changes yet! I found that after a week or two you will start peeling like crazy and see a lot of discolouration on your scalp. However, once this phase ends, your skin will be just pinkish and it will start itching a lot. That is my experience, anyway!

As for application, here is what I do:
- Use a glove to rub cream thinly all over scalp
- Set timer for appropriate time (I am currently on 20 minute treatment and next week I move to 25)
- When timer goes off, put on gloves and use paper towel to wipe excess off
- Wash scalp with Head and Shoulders

It is very messy and stains everything so make sure you use a junky towel to dry your head and use an old pillow case at night. Also, be careful with clothing during and right after treatment. I find it stains the most when it is fresh on your head.

Now, to mourn the unintended victims of Anthralin in my condo
- My hand towels
- My shower curtain liner
- My entire shower/tub (ok, I just need to clean it more, it does come off these. Except grout.)
- My housecoat
- My grey pillow case
- My white towel, which somehow got a finger print on it
- My duvet cover, which also got a finger print on it!!
- There is also a finger print on the back of the bathroom door. I haven't tried to remove it yet so it is not a confirmed victim haha

On the other hand- I get to buy new stuff! woohoo! :P I'm a glass half-full kinda gal

Update: I wrote this post on a Monday. By the time I posted it on Saturday the itching had decreased considerably. Also, my friend Jeni thinks my head is definitely fuzzier. I disagree. Too bad it is hard to photographic white fuzz


  1. Hi Casey, I was wondering how the Anthralin ended up working for you. I have been on it for almost two months now and have very little progress. I have very light hair that can only be seen if you look closely and then I have one spot on my head where my hair is growing like crazy! I just wanted to know if the medication worked or did not work and how long it took for it to work.

    1. Hi Brittany,

      It didnt end up working for me. I did have SOME regrowth but it was still pretty minor after a year of treatment. I have full AU with no remission for over 10 years so it was unlikely to work for me anyway.


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