I would not advise you to take any steroid. It is last thing that you should do. Try PUVA treatment. 2,5 years ago I lost my hair and my eyebrows & eyelashes. After PUVA therapy I got my all hair back. It is over 2 years since this treatment without any patches. It was second time when I got PUVA and I find it is the best treatment as so far... believe me I tried everting. You need to take some relaxation course as well... stress is usually the case. Find some way to work with your mind and deal with tension in your body. There are lots of technic and way to do this. I have had AA for 15 years and I have tried everything what only can work or help me so if you have any question let me know. ;-)
Anna, did you check if you had autoimmune disorder. I too have AA for 15 years, I too tried everything. And now thinking of trying PUVA. My ANA tests are negative though.
The only way for a dermatologist to be completely sure of an AA diagnosis is a scalp biopsy. There will be tons of white blood cells present, hence the autoimmune tie. Not many Drs will go this far though. Many will diagnose with the symptoms---- round patchy hair loss; itchiness, redness, tingling at the affected areas; and exclamation point hairs.
Yes, the every doctor I met confirmed AA just looking at the symptoms. They never did the scalp biopsy and gave random medicines. I read the blogs by members here and reading the treatments they did, I tried diagnosing my AA myself. I went to the lab and asked them to do Vitamin D deficiency test, Biotin deficiency test and ANA test. I have considerable amount of deficiency for which I have started taking supplements. My ANA test is negative. Since lots of the members were able to recover using PUVA, I am thinking of undergoing PUVA too.