Alopecia areata (circular bald patch) or where Latin is still useful

Dita was 16 when she first noticed a small round bald patch on her head hidden by hair. That was not so bad, because Dita had long thick hair and this patch was so cleverly hidden that nobody could see it. Dita also didn’t see it, but really first felt it. When you are 16 years old and puberty is at its peak, your appearance is your be all and end all. A bald girl, even if the bald patch can be hidden, is a girl with a blemish. Dita was worried. What if several such patches appear? What if she loses all her hair? What if it becomes obvious? What if it is catching? What if she has a kind of fatal disease?

The visit to the doctor didn’t really calm her. The doctor explained to her that she had a circular bald patch and that one didn’t really know why it occurs. Probably an immune disorder. One also doesn’t know how to prevent the disease. One doesn’t know how the disease could be cured. In a word, one doesn’t really know anything. All one knows is that it can occur anywhere there is hair and if one is really unlucky, all the hair can fall out – on the head, eyebrows, even pubic hair. Dita was alarmed. The fact that she didn’t have a fatal disease didn’t calm her or only for a few seconds. The idea that she could be here, but without any hair, was appalling and painful.

Dita didn’t trust the doctor and went from one doctor to the next, but everywhere she received similar information, with one exception. Doctor Wagner recognised that Dita’s problems are emotional and prescribed her zinc, peptides and DCP. To strengthen the effect, he gave it to her as an injection. Doctor Wagner knew that it probably wouldn’t help much, but it also couldn’t do any harm. But immediately after the first injection Dita felt better. Doctor Wagner explained to her that the therapy will last a year and Dita must be very disciplined and avoid harmful influences. Every month Dita shuttled thankful and calmed to him for an injection, avoided alcohol and behaved like a model pupil. And in fact after a year the bald patch had grown over again. Doctor Wagner’s placebo had worked. But let’s be honest, even without the medication the patch would have recovered after a year.

In the course of her life Dita had these bald patches time and again. If she was lucky, well hidden in her thick hair, if she was unlucky,, her eyebrows fell out or the bald patch grew where it was scarcely possible to conceal it.

But Dita didn’t need a placebo therapy any more. She understood that this disease is part of her life and trusted that the patches would disappear again. With time she also realised that people really don’t notice it and, if someone did notice it, she explained that she had a harmless immune disorder called «alopecia areata». That sounds 10,000 times better than a circular bald patch. So you see that Latin can also lend something banal a tinge of noblesse.


Bildquelle: Karin Schmidt  /

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