What other disease could this be?

The guy who serves at an eatery which I frequent appeared shorn of his usually flowing locks and was bald headed. I asked him the reason for the change in the fashion, and he said that his hair had started falling out in patches and thats why he had shaved it. I said he should see a doctor and he said that he had, and he had got some anti-biotic and he was to have a major intramuscular injection in a few days.

Now, I am no medical man, but to me the symptoms and treatment described seem to suggest syphilis and my companions (also not medically trained) had the same opinion later on when the guy left.
So learned Dopers, what else could it be, considering the treatment and symptoms?

FWIW the guy is not the sharpest man you will meet and he is quite flamboyantly homosexual and open about being rather promiscious.

Someone’s hair falls out in patches and you go right for syphillis? And so does everyone you know? Um… that’s bizarre. Is syphillis very common where you live? Did he have a fever, a rash, a history of open sores?

I would suspect:
certain vitamin deficiencies, such as iron deficiency and B-vitamin deficiency, especially if said person is a vegetarian.
fungal infection

It was not just the hair, the treatment and the lifestyle of the person in question also played a role.

I had a friend who started losing hair in weird patches. One day, he was over at my house and was watching while I was giving my dog meds. He noted that the dog had lost his fur in some weird funny patches and asked what I was giving meds for. I told him the dog had hypothyroidism. He wanted to know how I knew that; what symptoms did the dog show?

I said, “Well, he gained a bunch of weight and got really grumpy frequently for no reason. He got all lethargic and his fur started falling out in weird patches.” I completely ignored the fact that I was also describing my human friend’s symptoms. I didn’t want to act like I had noticed the same constellation of symptoms in him as in my dog. I just played it straight like we were both talking about the dog, but I don’t think either one of us was talking about the dog. I explained that the vet had tested the dog’s T4 levels and they were all out of whack, so we put him on Thyroxin and he lost weight, his fur grew back, and his temperament went back to being his energetic, sweet-dog self.

A few months later, my friend announced to friends at a happy hour that he had some autoimmune-related thyroid disorder, which was causing the alopecia, and he was now on meds (Thyroxin!) and his hair would be growing back soon. Color me surprised. I had to work hard not to shout, “I KNEW IT! HA!”

I take credit for identifying and diagnosing my friend, even though I never really said directly, “I think you have the same problem as my dog and you should see a doctor.” He figured it out without me having to butt into his personal medical business.

So tell me about your friend: has he gained weight recently? Is he more grumpy than usual, more frequently? Does he complain of being tired or feeling run down a lot? He might have hypothyroid.

Are you sure your dog didn’t just get married?


Funny you should say that, because from a certain point of view, he did. He’d been a stud dog in a puppy mill, was rescued and neutered, and then I got him. So yeah, the grumpy and lethargy could have just been due to early retirement combined with having to live with my bossy female Boston, who ran the show always, and a couple of dog-ass-kickin’ cats, both of whom he was terrified. My house was a real circus for a minute there. At one point, we were all medicated. :cool:

What I thought of is tiña, which apparently is called ringworm in English. The definitions match…

I vote alopecia for whatever reason [thyroid or stress both pop as causes for alopecia]

mrAru has alopecia. His hair got to falling out in non-male pattern baldness patterns [fifty cent piece round blorches of missing hair randomized around his head and body] and I just told him to get it over with and shave his head.

You could ask the guy what his health issues are. Alternatively you could ask a bunch of strangers on an internet forum to diagnose from limited information the health status of a man they do not know whilst informing them by way of assistance that the man is stupid, flamboyantly homosexual, sleeps around and is you think probably syphillitic.

If he’s promiscuous and homosexual it could be AIDS, and he’s not telling the whole truth about his treatment. Of course it can be any number of things, including radiation therapy for cancer.

Or chemotherapy for cancer.

Alopecia simply means hair loss. Of course he “has” alopecia. That’s like saying he has a higher-than-normal temperature because he has a fever.

Moderator Note

sniffo, this kind of post constitutesthreadshitting and is against board etiquette.

No warning issued, but let’s refrain from this in the future.

General Questions Moderator

In any case, this is better suited to IMHO than GQ.

General Questions Moderator

Hair loss is also one of the symptoms of arsenic poisoning.

www.livestrong.com: ‘Minor symptoms of arsenic poisoning will include headaches, dizziness and feelings of vertigo in minor cases of arsenic poisoning. More serious cases will involve nausea, stomach cramps, pain in the abdomen, discolored urine and bloody diarrhea. Dehydration may occur from the loss of fluids due to vomiting or watery stools. If the arsenic was ingested, the liver and kidneys will likely suffer damage as well. The inability of those organs to process waste can pollute the blood and cause other problems. Convulsions, comas and death will likely follow if the arsenic poisoning is left untreated.’

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/12846-diagnose-arsenic-poisoning-symptoms/#ixzz1nuPy1yET

I got peeved. Sorry. Well moderated. It won’t happen again.

Sounds like a really bad case of psoriasis to me. There are several medications used for severe psoriasis that are administered via injection. (Remicade is given via infusion though.)

Are you kidding? Because the OP sounds a helluva lot like trolling or – at the very least – gay/slut shaming.

Here, let me paraphrase the OP: I’m worried about a guy who serves me. He’s stupid, obviously gay and a slut. He cut his hair because it was falling out and now I’m worried that whatever STD he is likely to have (because he’s stupid, gay and slutty) is going to affect me too. Please reassure me that he’s not contageous.

And you, Colibri, ding sniffo for pointing that out?

Let me ask this: If the stupid, slutty server had been a woman, how do you think this thread would have gone over? Would you have made the same thread-shitting accusation?

I would like you to point out EXACTLY where I said any of the things you accuse me of.

Alopecia can have a myriad of causes, so jumping to conclusions involving STDs is a little presumptious. Heck, it could just be stress!