Sorry to hear your experiences, I can understand your worry and upset. The horrible truth is the patch or area affected by scarring alopecia will result in permanent hair loss.
The best advice I can give you is get biopsies done asap to establish which scarring alopecia you might have and thereafter get your consultant to start you on a treatment to prevent the spread of the condition – previous postings have already outlined some of these treatments.
I haven’t used Elocon cream however I have used other similar topical applications which to be honest are all much the same – they are topical corticosteroids which may help to relieve visual symptoms, i.e. dryness, itchy, flaky scalp but will not provide the cure. They are to be used only short term and only on the affected area since many can be potent.
Sadly for us there is no cream out there which can slow down the scarring. This type of alopecia is viewed as quite rare even in the bigger spectrum of non-scarring alopecia therefore little or no research has been done in this country. In fact it seems the wider non-scarring alopecia group on this forum are equally fed up at being forgotten – see campaign to sign e-petition.
Once you’ve had your biopsies I feel sure your dermatologist will look at prescribing an oral medication (see recent post from Seni) as this appears to be the preferred option in trying to stem the spread of the scarring by stopping the underlying inflammation at the follicle root. The destruction is caused deeper under the skin where hair follicle and sebaceous gland are located – once these have been destroyed it leaves permanent hair loss.
I do accept that a certain amount of hair thinning is to be expected as we age and sometimes if we’ve been fortunate to have thick hair in our younger years we tend to notice the thinning even more. Age-related hair thinning is not alopecia, and it certainly is not the same as scarring alopecia – perhaps this is something you can discuss with your derm on your next visit.
Thankfully you have a supportive husband (and family) which is much needed when facing such conditions. Naturally they will not understand everything about this complex condition but at least they can give you a hug. I can relate to your frustrations, anguish and worry and the need to have questions answered but the best thing you can do is to read, be informed, get as much info as poss and maybe take a look at www.carfintl.org
Sending my best wishes, te.rayz
P.S. I keep a bottle of Nizoral shampoo to use now and then however I only dab it on the affected area and never wash my entire scalp with it. I’ve also used Etrivex shampoo in the past – again sparingly because it contains a potent corticosteroid.