Children Too Are Hair Loss Victims!
Contrary to the popular belief, children are victims of balding or hair loss. Although not so common, recent researches tell us that millions of children in the United States and the world are suffering from hair loss caused by a number of factors, most are related to illnesses and accidents. Well, it seems heartbreaking to hear that news, but that’s the truth. Our precious assets could be hosts of hair loss.
Needless to say, if you are a mother who happens to have a child suffering from hair loss, finding the right information to arm you in fighting the condition could be at the top of your list right at the moment. The bad news is, finding a lot of information about hair loss in children could be hard enough as only tidbits of information about this topic are documented. Worse is that children’s hair loss is usually ignored, although there are thousands of cases out there telling us that hair loss in children is not a matter to be overlooked, but a matter to be taken into serious consideration. Well, this is where the importance of this article comes in. Note that in this written piece, everything about children’s hair loss is revealed.
So what keeps you waiting? If you want to find solution for your child’s hair loss, then continue reading as I’ve got enough information about children’s hair loss for you to note and understand. You can use this article as your guide to wrestling with that balding condition your child is currently going through. Note that children are one of our most valuable assets, so there’s every reason for us to protect them.
Understanding the Child’s Condition
The Nitty-Gritty of Children’s Hair Loss
As mentioned earlier, hair loss in children is a not a very common phenomenon. Nevertheless, it is important to know that nearly about two million of our children nowadays are going through this condition. Both male and female are suffering from it and it is devastating to know that about 40 percent of the total number of affected children has hair loss that is intolerable and can’t anymore be treated with some forms of hair loss treatment. Obviously, this is a big bad news for parents, but the good news is the remaining 60 percent of these children have developed hair loss that could be reversed even without the need for treatment.
Hair loss may affect children age 12 years old and over. There are some cases, however, in which infants are involved. Well, for infants, hair loss is caused by constant pulling of hair. This actually has nothing to do with trichotillomania as infants only pull their hairs as soon as they are able to reach their heads with their hands. It is something that is out of children’s consciousness. But, for children age 12 years old and above, hair loss is commonly caused by illness, like cancer. Yes, thousands of children today are suffering from cancer, the reason that sudden hair loss occurs as a result of chemotherapy.
It is further important to know that hair loss in children is not caused by a deficiency in vitamins, although there are some instances of extreme malnutrition that hair loss is noticeable. Aside from that, the belief that hair loss in children is caused by poor scalp circulation, cold weather, hats and headbands still remain as myths of hair loss, thus there’s no reason for you to believe on someone telling you about such “causes”. Perhaps the best move you can consider now after hearing these certain myths is to know the real causes of children’s hair loss and how you can help to prevent or cure it.
Types of Children’s Hair Loss
Generally, there are about five documented types of hair loss that affect children at a large number. These conditions include Tinea Capitis, Trichotillomania, Alopecia Areata, Telogen Effluvium, and Traction Alopecia.
Let’s consider these types by knowing each of them.
• Tinea Capitis
Also known as “ringworm of the scalp”, tinea capitis is a disease caused by a fungal infection on the scalp of the head, eyelashes and eyebrows. This fungal infection, detected even with a single stare is in the first place considered superficial perhaps for the reason that it is just seen as a surface problem Well, this disease is deemed as one of the primary reasons for hair loss as it has the power to attack the hair shafts and follicles in those mentioned areas if not immediately controlled. Yes, tinea capitis attacks the hair shafts and eventually causes the hairs to weaken and break.
Once the hairs break due to the fungal attack, a bare patch of hair loss that is often observed as round or oval can be noticeable. The patches of hair loss than also be irregular. Aside from this, the scalp of your head may develop a black-dotted stubble appearance from those hair shafts that were conked out at the surface. The child suffering from this type of hair loss may also experience itching as well as scaling.
What’s worse about tinea capitis is that the condition can be spread out or transmitted even by contact. The way it can be transmitted may include contact from one infected child to another through sharing of brushes, barrettes, combs, hats, bath towels, and pillows. Yes, that is how powerful this disease is. What’s more, tinea capitis can be transmitted once a minor bruising on the scalp is present as the bruise may serve as the door for the microscopic fungus to enter into the deeper layers of the scalp, then damaging the hair follicles.
According to some studies, tinea capitis is not that dangerous. However, if the condition is left unattended or if not treated immediately, it may lead to severe hair loss. It will also give way to the development of a marshy swelling of the scalp known by many as “kerion”. If this happens, your child’s head may appear yucky and that may result in a feeling of being unwanted.
Trichotillomania is known as a compulsive act of pulling one’s hair. Although, this condition is common to adolescents, children at a very young age may even be a victim of this.
Well, trichotillomania is considered as something that is not medical, but is psychological. Children who are affected by this are commonly noted for having irregular patches of incomplete hair loss on their head, eyelashes or eyebrows. The practice of pulling is commonly observed when the children are in bed, usually before falling asleep. This too can be observed when the child is watching television or studying. Indeed, this can be practiced without the children and even their parents be aware about the act. Parents may even find it hard to believe that their child would perform such a psychological thing.
In trichotillomania, the most common areas affected of hair loss often appear on the left side of the head for the right handed children. For those who are left handed, the affected area of hair loss could be that right side of the head. Although potent for causing excessive hair loss in children, trichotillomania may resolve spontaneously, without you noticing about the change in the behavior of your kid.
• Alopecia Areata
Just like tinea capitis, the alopecia areata may result to a patchy hair loss in children. This is also characterized by a sudden occurrence of round or oval patches of hair loss on the scalp. The patches are totally smooth or slick bald, but appears to have no sign of inflammation, broken hairs, or scaling.
Children who are affected by this condition tend to lose hair in circular patches and the affected area may reach up to two inches in diameter.
Alopecia areata is nothing serious or something that is life threatening. In fact, children who may be affected by it are healthy. However, the real reason of why the hair breaks and falls out of from their roots suddenly has been baffling everybody. At this time, it still remains as a mystery, although there are some theories which suggest that alopecia areata is caused by the immune system of the body attacking the hair follicles. Other researches suggest that this condition may be caused by some food, nervousness, psychological stress, or hyperactive disorders. No matter what the theories may suggest, one main thing remains to be a fact – alopecia areata affects about one per one thousand children. It’s further worth noting that about 25 percent of these kids have problems associated with nail biting or ridging of the nails.
Luckily, numerous studies have revealed that about 80 percent of the total number of children affected by alopecia areata develops new hair on their scalp back within twelve months. However, the new growths may appear odd as the new hairs may appear to be white in color. Experts have stated though that these white hairs may return to their natural color as time goes by.
• Telogen Effluvium
Telogen Effluvium has long been considered as a common cause of hair loss. The mechanism involves here has something to do with the normal life cycle of the human hair.
The telogen effluvium occurs following a high fever or severe emotional stress. In this condition, the hairs that were in their growth phase can be converted back into their resting phase. Months later, when the stress or illness has been eliminated, these hairs start to shed, and that shedding can last up to six weeks. Following this process, children affected by this condition may not develop complete baldness. Instead, thinning throughout the scalp will only be observed. However, if the initial cause like illness is repeated, many or all of the hairs may be converted into their resting phase, and this is what may cause partial or complete baldness following the stage. Perhaps what’s unfavorable about this condition is the fact that the hair takes between three to six months to reenter into its growth phase. With this, it’s no doubt that the hair restoration can be slow.
• Traction Alopecia
Also known as a physical damage to the hair, traction alopecia is by far the last documented cause of children’s hair loss. This happens particularly in girls to whom constant fluffing, combing, teasing, curling, blow drying, hot combing, straightening, bleaching and washing are highly common. These activities are what basically cause hair loss as they break hairs, even those healthy ones, causing them to fall out. This condition is highly common among children who typically have much fair, thinner hair.
So everything about the basics and types of hair loss in children is discussed. The next thing you can do now to help your child is to consult and work with your child’s doctor. If you already have a doctor to check your child’s hair loss condition, then great! But, for those who have none or those who are still looking for physicians to approach and talk about it, then the following details are written especially for you.
Finding the Right Doctor to Approach
Finding the right doctor to approach and work with to help your child cope with his or her hair loss condition is one of the most important moves that every parent should take. However, with lots of areas of specializations out there, finding a doctor who may help you with all your needs can be difficult. But, that is the reason basically why this article is written. So to help you find the right person to help you with your child’s condition, consider the following details:
One way to find the right doctor to your child cope with his or her hair loss condition is to look for the doctor’s qualification. A lot of physicians out there are qualified and certified by board. If the hair loss condition of your child is caused by cancer, the chance of finding a good cancer specialist would be high. But, if the condition is caused by something that is not so serious like cancer, perhaps you can find the right doctor by referrals or by asking someone you know who can lead to the person you are looking for. Aside from these sources, you have the option to go online as several sites listing qualified doctors who are known in the area of diagnosing and treating children’s hair loss are out there on the web.
Indeed, finding the right surgeon entails exerting enough effort and time from you as a parent or a guardian. Although difficult, helping your precious jewel is worth considering, after all.
Knowing the Right Treatment
Now, let us assume that you already found the right doctor to examine your child’s hair loss. The next thing that you can do for your child is to know the possible treatments of hair loss in children. Your doctor can help you decide on that, but it’s still nice to obtain even just a small knowledge about the potent
treatments for children’s hair loss. If you’ve got the interest to know more about
it, then read on.
Children’s Hair Loss Treatments
There are a lot of treatments available for children’s hair loss. However, with the above mentioned types of hair loss in children, only few of these treatments were approved by law. Some of these are mentioned below:
Antifungal Treatments – Since most of the types of hair loss in children are caused by fungus attacking the hair follicles, it is then best to consider antifungal treatments. Well, this treatment is highly useful for tinea capitis. You can consider oral and topical antifungal treatments though, but it is best still talk with your doctor about this matter.
Cortisone Injections – This kind of treatment may be best for those who are affected by alopecia areata. This is a kind of medication that can stimulate the growth of new hair. As the name implies, they are usually injection into the hair follicles, particularly at the balding spot.
Topical Steroids – According to some studies, topical steroids are best for children affected by Telogen Effluvium. This may affect a response to the damaged part of the head within one to two months. Although a bit slow, topical steroids are found to be effective for stimulating hair growth.
So far those are only the most noted treatments for children’s hair loss. But, for conditions like trichotillomania, certain behavioral trainings are considered to help children control their behaviors. Most parents are also required to attend these trainings to educate them on how to prevent hair loss in their children.
Today, the battle for finding the most effective treatment for hair loss in children continues. But, this doesn’t mean that parents will wait for the revelation or introduction of the ultimate treatment. That is not much needed. Perhaps the best move that parents can take to help their children fight hair loss is to educate themselves about the basics and causes of hair loss, the possible treatments, and how to find help. Once figured out, treating hair loss in children successfully can be possible.