What Causes Hair Loss in Children?
Hair loss in a phenomenon that is not just limited to adults or only the elderly; there are also many cases of hair loss in children that could attribute to several factors. However, unlike hair loss in adults, which could be permanent, hair loss in children is generally temporary and in most cases, hair loss in children could be cured by simple treatments.
Fungal Infection as a Cause of Hair Loss in Children
One of the primary causes of hair loss in children is fungal infection. As very young children still don’t have fully developed immune systems, they are more prone to infections than adults. Usually, children with fungal infection in their head would develop patches of hair loss with large and red nodules on the scalp, which could be very itchy at times. If you notice something like this in your child’s head, take your child to the doctor for an exam. Do not wait until your child starts losing his or her hair; as hair loss on children could be just as a traumatic in kids as in adults.
Pulling of Hair Causes Hair Loss in Children
Tricholillomania is a condition of hair loss, which is closely associated with the pulling of the hair. In some instances, especially when a child is stressed or frustrated, he or she may start pulling on his or her hair. Such pulling of the hair could become a habit for some children that eventually some bald patches would start to show on their head.
On the other hand, braiding the hair of children too tightly would create tension on the scalp. This condition called traction alopecia is common on little girls who always wear their hair in tight braids. To avoid causing hair loss on children especially on little girls, do not braid their hair tightly. If you must braid their hair, do it in such a manner that it will not cause trauma on the scalp and cause hair loss.
Hair Loss in Babies
There is no real reason to be alarmed if babies shed off their hair during their first six months. Experts said that hair loss is normal in babies during their first six months of life. When a baby is born, they have such soft hair on their scalp, which need to replace later on with more permanent hair. In most cases, babies’ hair will regenerate in the next six months or so after they shed off their baby hair.
Hair loss or alopecia can be caused by fungal infections, inflammatory conditions, trauma, or as a side effect to some medical conditions (like hypothyroidism) or their treatments like chemotherapy for treating cancer.
Medical Names for Hair Loss Types
Tinea capitis is a scalp infection that is caused by a fungus. It can cause patches of hair loss, with broken off hairs (black dot ringworm), scales, enlarged lymph glands, or the formation of a kerion, a large, red, boggy nodule on the scalp. Your doctor may do a KOH examination of the hairs, have a fungal culture done, or he may just treat your child with an antifungal agent, such as griseofulvin. These medicines are taken for at least six weeks, usually with fatty meals which can help it to be absorbed better. You can also wash your child's hair with a shampoo that contains selenium sulfide at least twice a week to make him less contagious.
Trichotillomania is a condition in which a child actually pulls the hair out, leaving an irregular patch of hair loss with broken off hairs of different sizes. It can be a habit, especially in times of stress.
Traction alopecia occurs when hair is braided too tight, or other tight hairstyles.
Alopecia areata occurs when children with this condition have a complete loss of hair in one to three areas of the scalp, without scalp redness or scaling. Another finding can be pitting of the nails in children with this condition. Although there is no reliable treatment for this condition, most children will have re-growth of the hair within a year.
Telogen effluvium usually occurs in young infants as a part of the normal process in which mature hair replaces baby hair. It can also occur in older children, usually a few months after an illness, and it is caused by the hair growth cycle being interrupted, with many hairs moving from a growing state to a resting state. As many hairs are shed, you may notice diffuse hair loss and it may seem like all of your child's hair is falling out, but there should be no other signs of infection or inflammation. The hair usually grows back in about six months.
Congenital alopecia occurs when newborns can have small areas of hair loss that are present from birth from a few different conditions, including aplasia cutis congenita and nevus sebaceous, a yellow-orange birthmark.
Scarring alopecia is caused by some conditions, including trauma or inflammatory reactions on the scalp can lead to scar formation, inside which hair does not grow, causing a bald spot on the scalp.