Hair loss in children is much more common than many people imagine. Currently, about 3% of visits to pediatricians in Ukraine are associated with hair loss in children.
Representatives of the American Association dealing with hair loss, note that children’s alopecia is very intense, but, with a correctly diagnosed diagnosis, in most cases successfully treated.
Medical experts recommend that parents who have found even small hair loss in their children should consult a pediatrician.
Most children suffer from hair loss caused by a number of diseases that are easily diagnosed by a pediatrician.
Ringworm is the most common cause of hair loss in children. This disease causes a fungal infection that affects the skin of the scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes, attacking the hair shafts and follicles. Ringworm is considered a form of superficial mycosis or dermatomycosis.
Currently, this disease is quite common in the US and other regions of the world.
Children suffering from ringworm, on the head appear patches of skin with fallen and broken hair. These areas are usually round or oval in shape, but sometimes the named feature is not observed. In some cases, the hair breaks right at the surface of the head, forming black spots, in others – on the surface of the skin, you can see gray scales.
- Diagnosis of ringworm. The best way to identify a fungal infection for a doctor is to take a scraping from the affected area of the skin and examine it under a microscope to detect the fungus.
- Treatment of ringworm. Ringworm is usually treated with antifungal drugs, such as griseofulvin, which should be taken orally for eight weeks.
In addition, ringworm is treated with shampoo “Nizoral”, which they wash their hair two or three times a week. It is very important not to stop using this shampoo and oral medication for eight weeks, as treatment is ineffective if it is administered irregularly or not in time.
Children with ringworm can continue to attend school if they are treated correctly and under the guidance of a specialist. Most children are not contagious when they take antifungal drugs or use a special shampoo.
In this disease on the scalp suddenly appear bald patches of round or oval shape. They are completely smooth, devoid of hair, have no signs of inflammation, peeling and broken hair. Bald areas of the skin can occur only overnight or a few days.
It is believed that the cause of nest alopecia is the attack of the body’s immune system on the hair follicles. According to statistics, one child out of 1,000 suffers from this disease, in addition, 25% of patients with nested alopecia are dimples or protrusions on the nails.
With proper treatment of alopecia areata, most of the patients heal and restore the fallen hair within a year or earlier. Children suffering from this disease should be under the supervision of a dermatologist. 5% of these children usually develop complete alopecia, in which hair falls over the entire surface of the scalp, and in some – a universal alopecia, characterized by hair loss throughout the body.
- Diagnosis of alopecia areata. Currently, there are no tests that would accurately detect the presence of alopecia areata, so dermatologists define this disease by excluding other causes of hair loss and careful study of bald areas of the skin. Typically, the primary signs of alopecia are smooth, bald areas of the scalp, manifested within 24 hours. Some patients experience tingling or pain in the affected areas.
The hairy part of the head is the zone most prone to alopecia areata, but this disease can occur in any area of the body covered with hair. Sometimes for the analysis, hairs that are located at the end of the affected areas are pulled out: if they are easily pulled out, the area of the dropped hair will continue to expand. Since alopecia areata are easy to identify, it is usually correctly diagnosed with a simple visual inspection.
- Treatment of alopecia areata. Unfortunately, there are no medicines for alopecia areata approved by the Food and Drug Administration, because little is known about the specific nature of this disease.
Nevertheless, there are several drugs that are attributed to the treatment of alopecia areata, although the instructions on this method of their use do not say anything. Some patients suffering from alopecia areata help. Here you can learn more about the specific treatments for this disease. Before taking any decision on how to treat your child from alopecia areata, consult a doctor.
Remember: while you are engaged in the restoration of fallen hair in one area of the skin, baldness can affect another area of the body. Nesting alopecia is an unpredictable disease, and even after complete remission, it can develop again.
Injury to the hair shaft
This is another common disease that can cause hair loss in children. Quite often, the cause of the injury is tension (permanent braiding of hair in braids, picking up in tails, etc.) or friction (for example, about a bed or a wheelchair). Another reason is burns with chemicals.
In some cases, trauma to the hair shafts can cause trichotillomania, a habit of twisting or pulling the hair. Trichotillomania is an obsessive-compulsive disorder that is difficult to treat, as the patient usually feels an uncontrollable desire to pull his hair. Baldness with injuries is usually focal and is accompanied by broken hair of varying length. Originally formed by bald heads this disease is not limited, constantly expanding the area of the lesion.
Some children suffering from trichotillomania also suffer from trichophagia, a habit of eating the hair they pull out. As a result, tangles of undigested hair accumulate in the stomach.
- Diagnosis of trichotillomania. Most often, such a diagnosis is obvious, since the parents of these children themselves complain that their child himself pulls out his hair.
- Treatment of trichotillomania. The habit of pulling out your hair is usually treated with cognitive / behavioral therapy or relaxation techniques that can be quite effective. Until the disease takes serious forms that cause the appearance of scars, and does not become chronic, the hair on the injured parts of the skin after pulling will be restored.
Telogenous baldness is also a common disease among children. To understand the specificity of telogenesis baldness, one needs to know the process of a normal hair growth cycle. Each hair follicle has a long growth phase, during which it will continuously grow for 2-6 years (on average three years) to grow hair.
After this stage, there comes a short intermediate period (about three weeks) during which the hair follicle degenerates. This period is replaced by a rest phase or telogen phase (about three months) – at this time the hair follicle is in a state of “sleep”. As soon as the telogen phase passes, the growth period again (new hair starts to grow, pushing out old ones), and the cycle repeats again.
In most people, 80% to 90% of the follicles are simultaneously in the growth phase, about 3% are in the short intermediate phase and usually less than 10% in the telogen phase. Every day from 50 to 150 hairs fall out and are replaced with new ones.
With telogenous baldness, some factors interfere with the normal course of the hair growth cycle, as a result of which most of the hair or all of them do not leave the telogen stage. After a few weeks, partial or complete hair loss occurs. The causes of telogenopathy include excessive fever, surgical intervention under general anesthesia, the use of vitamin A in excess of the dose, severe or prolonged stress (eg, death of a loved one), severe injuries and the use of certain medicines, such as Accutane in the treatment of acne.
- Diagnosis of telogenesis alopecia. There are no tests to accurately diagnose telogenesis alopecia. The doctor makes a detailed medical history, but most often the final conclusion is based on his own experience.
- Treatment of telogenesis alopecia. Once the stress factor is over, hair growth is usually fully restored in six to twelve months. Other types of treatment usually do not use.