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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 31222
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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Hello. I recently had a first date with a woman and I noticed

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Hello. I recently had a first date with a woman and I noticed a strange thing about her. She had very thinning hair on top to the point where you could see the shape of her head almost through it when the light went through her bangs. She is a young woman, 32 I believe. I didnt feel comfortable asking her, but I was curious what could cause this. I know men go bald and experience thinning hair, but I had not seen it in a woman before. Should I be concerned? What might cause this?

Hi--when you say concerned is it because you had unprotected sex with her? Did she seem otherwise very healthy?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i did not have sex with her. I was just curious and concerned for her well being and if it should effect my decision to be with her. It was just a first date.

OK. There are a few possibilities here and none of them too serious. My first thought is that she might be hypothyroid--low functioning thyroid. Second could be a vitamin D or vitamin A deficiency. Third would be what's called androgen dominance in a female--too much male hormone than normal causing male pattern baldness. Then there's tinea capitis--a fungal infection of the scalp. Finally there are things like alopecia areata and telogen effluvium where for no reason the hair falls out and then regrows over several months.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Now i am a little nervous about sexual contact cause you hinted that might be a concern. Should I be nervous to ever be intimate with her. I did notice she had a cough, not that that means anything. She said she had allergies.

I only asked about sex because you mentioned you were concerned without saying exactly why. While HIV patients might have hair loss, in general they are quite ill when it gets to that point. All I can say is, even with a partner who looks for all the world to be in the peak of health, none of us can ever be sure about whether they may have HIV or hepatitis B or C or herpes so we all can be taking a risk by having unprotected sex in a case where we don't know for sure someone has been tested and found not to be infected.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK, that is good advice, but that would apply to any partner, and is unrelated to her hair loss? if she had HIV and didnt know it, would that cause hair loss, or is it the treatment procedures of HIV that cause the loss?

That applies to any partner and if this had been me, I wouldn't have immediately thought of a possible STD. HIV to get to the point of hair loss would mean a very low white cell count and the unusual infections that come from that. But hair loss by itself isn't really a sign of HIV
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i wish i knew how to ask her about it, haha. Its not something easy to bring up. She works as an Xray tech, i wonder if she is getting irradiated.

No, it would be very unusual these days for a radiology tech to get too much radiation--they wear detectors. I'd give it a few dates to get to know each other before you mention the hair
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

so in general though, if i were to wear protection, i.e. a condom, i would be safe if she did have a medical concern, and things like a hand job or blow job would be safe without a condom?

Condoms are fine for HIV, hepatitis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomonas but you could still get herpes from skin to skin contact.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hmm, but herpes is the only one to worry about in those scenarios? sorry im asking the same questions over and over. I worry about her cough now too, her "allergies"


Yes, only herpes. A cough is just a cough--on its own it doesn't mean much of anything
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

HIV to get to the point of hair loss would mean a very low white cell count and the unusual infections that come from that.


Can you talk more about this and what those infections might be? Would she be walking around and acting normally if her white count was low?

I'd be glad to continue the subject but since that really involves a new question, I'd ask that you rate my answer on this page first and then we can continue
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