The gradual thinning and hair loss that comes with aging is something that most people accept as a natural part of the aging process. However, the alopecia in children could be cause for concern, mainly if the child is worried about thin hair or bald spots. Children’s hair loss may follow a different pattern than adults. Androgenetic alopecia, also known as pattern balding, is a condition that affects adults more frequently than any other. Telogen effluvium, often known as stress-related hair loss and traction alopecia, is a significant cause of hair loss in youngsters. Other possible reasons include bacterial or fungal diseases.
This article examines the different potential reasons for alopecia in children and additional symptoms and therapies for the condition. It also outlines when one should visit a medical professional.
Even though it can affect people of any age, the development of alopecia areata typically occurs in one of two stages: infancy or adulthood. However, cases have been documented in people of all ages. In the same way that other autoimmune disorders have a hereditary basis, it is probable that alopecia areata has a genetic basis.
Illnesses such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, vitiligo, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, and inflammatory bowel disease are conditions that may be present in the patient or their family and be associated with an elevated risk alopecia in children. The following is a list of typical factors that contribute to hair loss.
It is the most common cause of spotty hair loss that requires treatment from a medical professional. The physician who examines the child will prescribe medication to cure ringworm on the scalp. It is supposed to be taken orally.
In the initial few months of an infant’s existence, many will experience hair loss. This baby hair will eventually be replaced by the hair that will remain.
Rubbing Or Friction
Babies often pull out a small section of hair from the back of their heads when they play. This condition most frequently manifests in infants between three and six months of age. It is caused by friction when turning one’s head against a solid surface. Examples of these include playpens, crib mattresses, and child safety seats. Hair loss can occur at any age with continuous friction, especially if repeated or severe.
Tight Hair Styles
Tugging too tightly makes the hair gradually break off because of the tension. Most commonly seen with hair pulled back into ponytails, dreadlocks, or braids. The use of hot styling equipment can potentially cause harm to the hair. Vigorously brushing or backcombing one’s hair might also cause one to lose hair. This condition is called “hair abuse,” traction alopecia, or mechanical alopecia.
Pulling Out or Twisting the Hair
Trichotillomania is the name given to this type of anxious behavior. When you frequently twist the hair, you risk breaking it and creating hairs of varying lengths. The baldness manifests itself in a variety of patch sizes and shapes.
It can be caused by behaviors such as nail biting, sucking on the lip or cheek, or picking at sores and wounds. It results in patches of baldness. In sporadic cases, it may also involve the removal of eyebrows or eyelashes.
Stress, whether emotional or physical, can profoundly affect hair follicles. Due to stress, the person will experience hair loss after around three to four months. Stress, whether emotional or physical, can profoundly affect hair follicles. Some examples are having a high fever, being very sick, or having surgery. A mental or emotional breakdown and a rapid change in diet can also be precipitating factors. Childbirth itself can be a source of anxiety for pregnant adolescents.
Individual occurrences of hair loss caused by alopecia areata often continue for less than a year and can be reversed without therapy in fifty percent of individuals. These people might endure recurrent bouts of hair loss, but their hair might regenerate on its own or react favorably to treatments quickly.
Some people experience a progressive form of the condition, characterized by a more persistent loss of hair that does not regrow and may not respond favorably to various therapies. At this point, there is no way to anticipate which people will have a mild form of the condition with a short term of involvement and which individuals would have a severe form of the condition with an extended duration of hair loss.
Alopecia areata often manifests itself on the scalp as the abrupt appearance of bald patches that are smooth and circular. At times, there may be a few white or short-colored hairs sprinkled throughout the hairless region. The infected areas are typically the skin color; however, they may also have a pinkish hue.
Alopecia areata is distinguished from other forms of baldness by the absence of redness and scaling on the skin’s surface. The first sign of the condition in children is typically the appearance of one to multiple patches on the scalp. However, some children suffer a faster hair loss that affects practically the entirety of their scalp and their eyelashes, eyebrows, and body hair. The surface of the child’s nails might exhibit a few little pits.
The vast majority of patients and their families are interested in exploring therapy options that can hasten hair regeneration. The choice of treatment is influenced by several factors, including the patient’s age, the extent of the hair loss, the length of time it has been present, and any other existing medical conditions. Some areas of thinning hair will regrow on their own without any treatment.
Pediatric dermatologists may suggest the following treatments at Nationwide Children’s Hospital: topical irritants, topical steroids, topical minoxidil (Rogaine), steroids, and immunotherapy.
Loss of hair is a condition that frequently affects children. Infections, anxiety, and pressure on the hair are just a few of the many factors that can contribute to hair loss. Most conditions are curable. Individuals should consult their preferred healthcare provider to get an informed diagnosis of the condition triggering their hair loss.