Home » News » Alopecia in Children: Causes and Treatments
Every parent must do their best to keep their children out of harm’s way. It’s a big task that is further complicated when they notice alopecia in children. Some even blame themselves for passing the “wrong” genes onto their children as they are helpless on how to treat it.
The truth is, when you consider the overwhelming mental and clinical demands of treating alopecia in children, you’ll understand how upsetting it can be for both parents and children experiencing it. To the worries of parents, their children may become uninterested in many things. And other parents may separate their children for fear of contracting the condition.
If this description fits your situation, finding a solution must be your next line of action. However, you can only find a suitable solution if the causes are first identified. Hence, this article will show some of the causes of alopecia among children, after which you’ll learn some treatments people use for it.
The causes of alopecia in children include the following:
Ringworm is a contagious skin infection caused by mold-like parasites living on cells at the outer layer of the skin. Whenever it affects the scalp, it is medically identified as tinea capitis. This infection exhibits itchy red and patchy spots around the scalp which eventually connect if it’s avoided.
If it is left unattended to, scratching follows itchiness, and hair may begin to fall out, making the spots bare. Some children may even subconsciously pull out strands around this area to relieve themselves of the itch. It’s the most notable cause of alopecia in children.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune cause of alopecia that causes total baldness. When this happens, the child doesn’t only lose the hair on the head; they’ll also lose eyelashes and eyebrows. The reason is that when it starts, the child’s immune system attacks hair-growing cells, making visible hair fall out, eventually stopping regrowth.
Alopecia areata has no cure, but some treatments can help your child manage it while growing a full head of hair. This regrowth is only maintained with the consistent use of such treatments.
Children also experience traction alopecia. It’s a condition that arises from a tight pull of hair on the scalp or any other pressure on the scalp. So that means if your child has a tightly pulled hairstyle or tight headgears, it may cause alopecia.
You’ll notice it around areas with the most intense pull. For instance, if your child’s hairstyle places more pressure on the temples, hair loss will begin at that site.
Some children experience alopecia because of the low or high production of thyroid hormones known as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. When there is a little supply of thyroid hormones, the body is incapable of metabolism, affecting the hair’s nutritional supply. Also, when there are too many thyroid hormones, it leads to irritation, causing less efficiency in metabolic activities. Endocrine problems can be diagnosed through a blood test.
The first step to treating alopecia in children is diagnosis to determine the cause and the treatment to explore. Several treatments are used, which include:
Contact immunotherapy is considered the most effective treatment for alopecia in children. Alopecia occurs in children mostly because the immune system attacks the follicles it’s supposed to protect. So with contact immunotherapy, this attack is doused and modulated.
For this purpose, contact sterilizers are used on the scalp’s outer layer suffering hair loss. These sterilizers include squalene acid dibutyl ester and diphenylcyclopropenone found in ointments rubbed on the spots. When applied, it should be left for 24 hours before it’s washed off.
Minoxidil is another effective option for treating alopecia in children. It is potent in stimulating rapid hair regrowth after 48months. This means that for you to be able to help your children deal with alopecia and regenerate lost hair, you must consistently use Minoxidil.
Although it doesn’t directly mitigate the autoimmune attack against the hair follicles, it works better when combined with other notable treatments like corticosteroids. Additionally, it’s a lotion that’s applied on bald spots. So parents should ensure they watch their children from ingesting it.
Corticosteroid is a treatment for alopecia whose function is to modulate the immune system of the child experiencing the condition. Its task is to counter all autoimmune attacks. And since it’s an injection on the spot, it’s deemed reactively faster than other treatments for alopecia in children.
This is more like a pill children can use to treat different types of alopecia, including alopecia Universalis and alopecia totalis. They are also deemed effective because they suppress inflammations in the immune system that trigger the attack on the follicles. That’s why hair growth begins in a short period when they are used.
They are in tablet forms and must be taken based on prescriptions. Another good thing about this pill is that you can combine it with other treatments without causing unbearable side effects as long as it’s used only for a short period.
While people might make the mistake of dismissing this, it’s as effective as using any medication. It would help if you watched your children and possibly stopped them from pulling their hair. While at it, avoid choosing hairstyles that place so much tension on the follicles.
It’s better to see a dermatologist as soon as signs of alopecia become visible in your children. While the parents can administer all the treatments suggested in this post, it’s crucial to follow the suggestions of a professional.
Children are not immune to alopecia. It can happen to them as much as it can to an adult. It would be best to take timely measures when you notice it in your child. This will affect how quickly the hair regrows. Make wise choices on their behalf!
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