A-Z

Danny

Age at interview: 14
Brief Outline: (Text only clips) Danny has had alopecia since he was born. He says that it doesn’t have much of an impact on his life. Danny usually chooses not to cover his head with hats and he doesn’t wear a wig, so he has to be careful about using sun cream to prevent sunburn.
Background: Danny is 14 years old and a secondary school student. He lives at home with his mum. His ethnicity is White British.

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Danny is 14 years old and has had alopecia all his life. He was born with no hair and by the time he was aged 2, the family GP had referred Danny and his parents to a dermatologist. Since the diagnosis, he has not needed to see a health professional about alopecia and has not tried any treatments either. Danny’s mum remembered that other people would assume his hair loss was due to cancer when he was very young and this could be very difficult to deal with. She also said that other children and adults would sometimes stare or do unwanted things such as touch Danny on his head when he was growing up. Danny’s eyelashes developed when he was about 2 or 3 years old and his alopecia now only really affects his scalp. Danny and his mum aren’t sure if it’s related, but his eyes sometimes become quite sore and red if he spends a lot of time focused on a screen, such as when he is playing on his PlayStation. 

Danny says having alopecia now has very little impact on his life. He has worried a bit in the past when he was younger about whether alopecia might be dangerous or infectious. Danny says it is not a problem at school and that he has good friends there. He has met other young people with alopecia through Alopecia UK and recently went on a fun day out with the group. Other things that Danny enjoys are playing on PlayStation and doing sport, especially basketball and cricket. He also likes animals. He has a pet cat and a rabbit and might work with animals in the future. Having alopecia doesn’t affect his clothing but because he has no hair and does not wear a wig, he has to be careful in the summer. He uses sun cream to prevent sunburn on his scalp and other exposed parts such as his ears.

Danny does not feel like alopecia has an impact on his self-confidence. He hopes that other young people with alopecia will also be able to feel confident about it. He would like to know more about how alopecia affects different people and how many people experience it. Danny hasn’t talked to other people much about his alopecia mainly because he says that it has little impact on his life and it doesn’t bother him much.
 

Danny has worried about his alopecia and whether it’s contagious.

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Danny has worried about his alopecia and whether it’s contagious.

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So you said that your mum has talked to before about alopecia. What kinds of things would you talk to her about?

Is it dangerous…

Hm-mm.

Infectious…

So they’re things that you’ve worried about before?

A little bit.
 

Danny doesn’t like to wear hats when it’s hot. He prefers the look of a hat rather than a bandana.

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Danny doesn’t like to wear hats when it’s hot. He prefers the look of a hat rather than a bandana.

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Your mum mentioned a moment ago that you don’t like wearing hats very much?

I don’t mind them. I just don’t want to wear them sometimes.

Yeah, what times are those that you’d rather not wear them?

When it’s really warm.

Like, in the summer?

Yeah.

Yeah, yeah. What about in the winter?

Yeah, I wear them then.

And do you ever find that your head gets quite cold sometimes?

No. 

Is there mostly hats that you prefer to wear rather than things like bandanas or…?

Yeah.

Do you know why that is, why you prefer hats over other things? 

I just think they look more better.
 

Danny says there are more people at his secondary school who also have alopecia than at primary school.

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Danny says there are more people at his secondary school who also have alopecia than at primary school.

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When you were at primary school, there was no-one else who had alopecia?

No. 

Is that different now you’re at secondary school?

Yeah.

Why’s that? 

‘Cos there’s a few more people who have it.

And do you ever say hi to them or-?

Yeah. 

Yeah, and do you talk to them about what it’s like for them at school with alopecia?

No. 
 

Danny has met other young people with alopecia. He went to a theme park on a trip organised by Alopecia UK.

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Danny has met other young people with alopecia. He went to a theme park on a trip organised by Alopecia UK.

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Do you know anybody else who has alopecia?

Yeah.

Yeah. Could you tell me a bit about who they are and how you met them?

I met one of my friends who went to this alopecia group day out and we went to Alton Towers, I think it was, all together and he has like-, he has bits of hair growing out but not everywhere.

What was that day like at Alton Towers?

Fun. 

Was it good?

Yeah.

And was that the first time that you met other young people who had alopecia?

Yeah, mostly.

Yeah. Yeah. Do you keep in touch with any of them?

Yeah.

Is that over email or do you meet up and-?

Both.
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