Hair Loss In Children – Causes & Treatments

Children’s Hair Loss – Causes, Signs, and Treatments

 

You’re at your wit’s end.
 
Your child has been dealing with hair loss for months, and nothing you’ve tried has helped.
 
Although you’ve tried every home remedy, nothing seems to be working.
 
Similarly, it can be difficult to watch your child suffer from hair loss.
 
Since it can be tough to deal with both emotionally and physically.
 
There’s hope.
 
Hair loss in children is treatable and preventable.
 
In this blog post, “Hair loss in children – causes and treatments”, I’ll discuss common causes and their treatments.
 

Tinea Capitis (Ringworm)

There are many types of contagious fungal infection, making children’s hair loss.

 
Notably one type is tinea capitis, or known as ringworm.
 
It’s a common type of fungal infection that can affect both children and adults.
 
Notably, this type of scalp infection can be difficult to treat, due to its ability to spread easily.
 

Appearance

Tinea capitis usually appears as a circular patchy hair loss on the scalp.
 
Again, the affected area may be scaly or red, and the hair may break off at the scalp.
 
On the negative side, the infection can also cause itching and discomfort.
 
Causes
The cause of this disease is unclear.
 
But it is likely due to certain types of fungi and environmental triggers.
 
Tinea capitis is often caused by a type of fungus known as Microsporum or Trichophyton.
 
Especially, these types of fungi can spread by an infected person or even a family pet.
 
Also, spreading through contaminated items, such as used combs or hats.
 

Environmental triggers

Humid or chilly environments are some causes of tinea capitis.

In other words, weather conditions can influence the development of the infection.
 
Risk factors
 
Any child’s risk increases when the following factors come into play:
 
• Age: Tinea capitis is mostly seen in children between 2 and 10 years old.
 
• Family history: If a family member has tinea capitis, it is likely other members may develop the same.
 
• Immune system: Children with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to the infection.
 
Treatment
 
Your child’s paediatrician may recommend a hair examination to help diagnose the infection.
 
Then again, if the fungus is severe, you may need eight weeks of washing with a medicated shampoo.
 
Also, oral antifungal medication is another option.
 
Other treatments
 
In some cases, your child may need medical therapy to help them.
 
This could include hair removal or hair transplants.
 
By working with your child’s paediatrician, you can help regain healthy hair growth.
 

Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is a common condition that causes significant hair loss in children.
 
Whenever it occurs, their hair follicles become damaged and stop producing new hair.
 

Appearance

 
Hair loss in children usually manifests as a bald spot on the scalp, but can also occur on other parts of the body.
 
As a result, the hair falls out slowly or in large clumps.
 
At the same time, hair may regrow on its own, but for some, hair loss may be permanent.
 
Causes
 
There is no known cause for this illness, but experts think it might be an autoimmune disease.
 
Accordingly, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy hair follicles.
 
Other factors that may contribute to alopecia areata include:
 
  • Family history: As it’s hereditary, it may pass on to the rest of the family members.
  • Stress: Children under stressful situations may trigger alopecia areata.
  • Health conditions: Conditions like anaemia and thyroid disorders may contribute to hair loss.
 
Symptoms
 
Besides hair loss, children with the scalp disorder also experience itching or tenderness.
 
If your child has alopecia areata, they risk developing other autoimmune conditions.
 
For example, vitiligo, erythema multiforme and lupus.
 
How to treat alopecia areata?
 
There is no specific treatment, but you may find the following useful:
 
1.Corticosteroid injections: These are injections that help bald patch hair regrow.
 
2. Topical corticosteroids: Applied to the affected area can soothe the itching and inflammation.
 
3. Vitamin supplements: Taking vitamins and minerals, like iron or zinc, prevents hair loss.
 
4. Light therapy: Involves exposure to ultraviolet light, which can help stimulate regrow hair.
 
5. Surgery: In severe cases, a skin graft may be necessary to cover the bald area.
 
Prevention
There is no known way to prevent alopecia areata.
 
But there are some things you can do to help your child cope with the condition.
 
  • Encourage children to express their feelings
 
Allow your child to express their feelings about hair loss.
 
Whether it’s sadness, anger, or confusion.
 
  • Try to stay positive
 
In particular, remind your child that their hair will eventually grow back.
 
  • Seek professional help
 
If your child struggles to cope, seek psychological support from the child’s pediatrician.

Trichotillomania

 
Trichotillomania is an obsessive compulsive disorder.
 
For instance, hair pulling, plucking or rubbing can cause this.
 
As long as hair shaft trauma is not treated, it can cause serious problems.
 

Appearance

 
Equally important are different types of obsessive compulsive disorder.
 
Let’s look at symptoms which can vary depending on the individual.
 
  • Bald patches: A common symptoms are bald patches on the scalp, eyebrows, or eyelashes.
  • Shortened hairs: One other sign is your hair may be shorter because of frequent hair pulling.
  • Broken hairs: A sign of broken hair indicates possible trichotillomania.
  • Impaired social functioning: In severe cases, a person can withdraw from social activities.
 
Common and uncommon causes
 
Still, there are several factors that may contribute to hair abuse behaviours.
 
Although the exact cause is unknown.
 
Anxiety: One of the most common triggers for hair abuse is anxiety.
 
In this case, death in the family, divorce or bullying.
 
Stress: Hair pulling often starts because of tension or feelings of overwhelm.
 
Genetics: There is evidence of a hereditary component, which tends to run in families.
 
Environment conditions: Trauma or abuse contributes to the development of the disease.
 
Treatment
 
There is no cure for trichotillomania.
 
Instead, there are treatments that can help reduce hair abuse behaviours.
 
Behavioural therapy: This is one of the most effective therapies for trichotillomania.
 
However, this type of therapy involves identifying triggers.
 
Coupled with learning how to manage stressful situations, and practising relaxation techniques.
 
Medication: Another common treatment option is medication.
 
As well as including anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications.
 
Alternative therapies: Many alternative therapies are available.
 
Including light therapy, vitamin supplements, and acupuncture.
 
Other resources
 
Many resources are available to help anyone struggling with the disease.
 

1.National Alopecia Areata Foundation:

 It’s a non-profit organization providing support and information.

2. Trichotillomania Learning Center (TLC):

 The TLC is an online community providing education and support.

 

Endocrine issues

 
Hair loss can be a distressing experience for children.
 
Since, it can make children feel scared and embarrassed.
 
Some children can end up with an underactive thyroid gland.
 
Because the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones.
 
Thus, this can slow down their metabolism.
 

Accurate diagnosis

 
A blood test can help diagnose this condition.
 
After proper diagnosis, the child’s doctor will work out the best course of treatment.
 
Accordingly, the treatment depends on age, general health, and severity of the disease.
 
Treatment
 
The common treatment for an underactive thyroid is a synthetic hormone called levothyroxine.
 
This medication, orally taken, replaces the missing thyroid hormones in the body.
 
Additionally, a child’s doctor may prescribe vitamins or minerals as extra supplements.

 

Telogen effluvium

 
Many children and adolescents suffer from hair loss.
 
It is due to hair follicle damage or hair growth disruptions.
 
One particular type, called telogen effluvium, can be especially distressing for young people.
 

Common and uncommon causes

 
Telogen effluvium is a type of hair loss that occurs when the hair follicles go into a resting phase.
 
Damage or interruption to the hair follicles leads them into a dormant state.
 
Accurate diagnosis
 
Doctor will ask an individual’s medical history and perform physical examination.
 
While they may also order a blood test to rule out other causes of hair loss.
 
Treatment
 
In the first place, there is no specific treatment for telogen effluvium.
 
Most of the time, the hair loss will resolve on its own when you clear up any underlying causes.
 
Yet, in severe cases, the doctor may prescribe medication or suggest other treatments.
 
Prevention
 
Generally, there are several ways to prevent telogen effluvium and promote healthy hair growth.
 
While maintaining a balanced diet and avoiding excessive heat exposure to the scalp.
 
Furthermore, sufferers should stop using chemical treatment.
 
Prevention and treatment can help your child gain confidence dealing with hair loss.

Chemotherapy

 

Chemotherapy is a common treatment method used to treat certain types of cancers.
 
At the same time, it eliminates cancerous cells and causes side effects, such as hair loss.
 
Here are some tips to help your child deal with hair loss due to chemotherapy:
 
1. Lean all about chemotherapy and its side effects.
 
2. Encourage your child to be open and honest about their feelings on hair loss.
 
3. Help your child choose a hairstyle or head covering that they feel comfortable with.
 
4. Seek psychological support if your child is struggling to cope with hair loss.

 

Causes of nonmedical origin

 
There are many causes of hair loss that have nothing to do with medical treatments, such as:
 
  • Heredity: A child could experience hair loss because family has a history of the disease.
 
  • Newborn hair loss: Babies hair loss after birth is due to changes in hormone levels.
 
  • Severe stress: High levels of stress can lead to increased hair shedding.
 
  • Diet: A poor diet can cause hair loss disorder by leading to malnutrition.
 
  • Traction alopecia: Caused by tight hairstyles, such as a child’s pony tail or tight braids
 
Warning: Tight braiding over 10 years can cause permanent hair loss.
 
  • Trichotillomania: This is a compulsive disorder. It causes people to pull out their hair, leading to hair loss.
 
  • Friction hair loss: Occurs by constant rubbing or friction on the hair and scalp.
 
Nutritional deprivation
 
Nutritional deficiency can lead to a child’s hair falling off.
 
Some of the most important nutrients for hair health are:
 
  1. Protein: A deficiency in protein can lead to hair breakage and hair loss.
  2. Fatty acids: Omega-3 and omega-6 are important fatty acids for hair growth.
  3.  B vitamins: B vitamins, such as biotin and folic acid, are essential for hair health.
  4.  Zinc: It’s important to have zinc for hair growth and hair follicle health.
  5.  Iron: Another essential vitamin, iron for hair growth and hair follicle health.

 

Conclusion

 
Hair loss can be a difficult experience for both children and adults.
 
But, I encourage you to do your own research on the topic.
 
From there, you and your child can work together on a treatment plan with the help of a child’s pediatrician.
 
If you found this blog post informative, share it with your friends.

 

FAQ

 
1. Can you cure hair loss in children?
 
Presently, there is no cure for hair loss in children.
But there are many treatments that can help.
 
2. Is hair loss in children permanent?
 
Hair loss in children can be permanent or temporary.
 
3. How can I prevent hair loss in children?
 
There are several ways to prevent hair loss in children.
 
For example, maintaining a balanced diet and avoiding heat exposure.
 
Also, limiting the use of chemical hair products.
 
Disclosure: My articles may include affiliate links!
By clicking one of those links, you will not pay any extra money when buying. Instead, I will get a small commission.
 
Many thanks for your support!
 
Disclaimer: I do not recommend or encourage you to use these statements.
They are for educational purposes only. Seek professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from your doctor.
If you have a medical concern, see your doctor immediately.
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