Hair Loss and Alopecia in Children

Alopecia is noticeable thinning of hair that is characterized not only by its loss but also by its fragility, as well as the inability to recover and grow again. Not only seniors face the problem of sudden falling out of hair. Today alopecia in children becomes a common thing. However, a conventional pediatrician cannot give such a diagnosis. To confirm it, several specialists have to examine a child: endocrinologist, neurologist, immunologist, etc. Based on the results of the comprehensive examination, a trichologist can make the correct decision.

Hair Loss and Alopecia in Children

There are three types of alopecia in children:

  1. Alopecia areata is hair loss in patches;
  2. Alopecia totalis is hair loss on the entire head;
  3. Alopecia aniversalis is hair loss not only on the head but also all over the body. It should be noted that alopecia areata in children is more common than alopecia universalis because of the causes of this pathology.

What Causes of Hair Loss in Children?

  • Inherited predisposition due to genetic disorders transmitted from parents to the child. The lack of any trace elements in the body of the child, metabolic disorder or genetic diseases may be the causes of hair loss in children.
  • Such endocrine disorders as diabetes and hypothyroidism (thyroid hormone deficiency) are also considered the common causes of alopecia in children. A child with such disease should be under the care of an endocrinologist. An attending doctor will choose the right diet for your child to follow. Thanks to appropriate treatment and physical exercises, the signs of endocrine diseases will soon disappear. Child’s hair will start to grow again.
  • Infectious diseases such as local infection (inflammation of the gums, dental disease, appendicitis, etc.) and virulent diseases (chicken pox, pneumonia, influenza) are also child hair loss causes. Typically, when a child recovers, hair growth is restored.
  • Fungous diseases that include ringworm, scald head, and microsporia.
  • Injuries, burns on the scalp, as well as predisposition to trichologia are also the reasons of alopecia.
  • Stress and psychological trauma can lead to hair loss in kids. Parents should pay attention to the changes in the emotional state of the child.

If a doctor excludes genetic diseases as causes of alopecia, hair loss in newborns and infants occurs for two reasons: the manifestation of rachitis and constant friction between the head and the pillow. In the first case, the pediatrician examines the baby for rachitis and appoints the appropriate treatment after the diagnosis confirmation. In the second case, hair will grow within a few months. Before the age of 3 months, newborn baby hair loss on top of the head is a usual thing. If hair continues to fall out at 4 months, at 5 months, or even after 6 months, it is better to visit a doctor. Falling out of hair may be one of alopecia in children symptoms.

Hair loss in toddlers often occurs because of mechanical actions with the hair. The child actively pulls hair and runs fingers through it. This habit is usually ignored, but if it lasts up to 3-4 years, parents should consult a child psychologist. If a child is constantly touching the hair, one needs to consider using doctor’s help immediately.

Alopecia areata can also occur in children older than 3 years, but the etiology of a disease is still unknown. There is every likelihood that the disease occurs due to the immune system failures. No medical diagnosis prediction can be made. Some children recover from alopecia; others continue to suffer despite the treatment.

At the age of 6-7 children start to go to school. Due to stress and vitamin deficiency, the immune system gets weak. The reaction of the hair follicles to any unfavorable factor can result in any pathological process. Therefore, the treatment for alopecia in children must come after the identification of the real cause of the disease. Alopecia in young people may occur because of hormonal changes in the body.

Should Alopecia in Children Be Treated?

Yes, it is essential to treat alopecia. However, don’t forget that the treatment always depends on the extent of disease and the individual characteristics of the child. Thus, it is better to review the situation and determine the causes of alopecia before helping your child. Even if it is only the beginning of the disease, consider visiting a doctor. He or she will recommend having natural treatment (vitamins, essential minerals for hair growth) and keep the child under medical supervision.

Principles of Treatment

  • Having determined the extent of a disease, its nature, causes and activity process, the doctor will provide an appropriate treatment. Perhaps, it will require taking some preventative measures. If it doesn’t help, growth promoters such as ointments, lotions and gels will be used.
  • In severe cases, steroid treatment is appointed. The most common method of how to use steroids is the application of ointment on the bald patches of the skin. The procedure is performed once a week. As a rule, only three or four times will be enough to get rid of alopecia.
  • The other method is corticosteroids injections on the bald patches on the scalp. It is a rather painful procedure. It is better to avoid such treatment except when alopecia is rapidly progressing.
  • There is a new method on how to treat alopecia. It is called “the method of waiting”. A doctor may ask to wait for the child to recover without any medicine. There are many positive reviews of this way of treatment, but it is unacceptable to delay dealing with the disease if it is caused by ringworm, rachitis, helminthiasis, etc.

Hair fall problem is getting more widely spread. Unfortunately, there are many children with hair loss nowadays. You must remember that alopecia is a serious disease that has to be properly treated. Needless to say, the sudden hair loss in children is an alarming symptom of a disease caused by a variety of reasons. It is always better to take preventative measures and have some natural treatment to avoid having serious problems that may result in complete hair loss. Consider visiting a doctor and get appropriate treatment.

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