Children’s Hair Loss: What You Need to Know
It can be hard to be a kid sometimes. Things can be even more difficult for a child who is losing their hair. Feeling different, being picked on, teased, or bullied because of hair loss can be devastating and disruptive for a child. But there are solutions that can address this issue, which is more common than you might think.
It is estimated that approximately 3 percent of all pediatrician visits annually involve a hair loss problem. Young children as well as teenagers can experience the symptoms of thinning, balding, or shedding which we normally associate with male pattern baldness in adult men.
There are many reasons a child could suffer from hair loss, and you should always consult with a physician if you notice your child losing hair. Some of the most common causes of hair loss in children include:
Alopecia Areata is a specific type of baldness that occurs in concentrated, rounded areas. It may occur on the scalp or on other portions of the body. At times, Alopecia Areata may manifest itself in several locations at once. For example, hair loss may simultaneously occur on the crown of the head, the sides of the head, and on the arm.
It is estimated that somewhere between 1-2% of Americans suffer with Alopecia Areata, including children.
This unpleasant infection, commonly called ringworm of the scalp, is a frequent culprit in children’s hair loss. It often appears as round or oval scaly patches of hair loss on the scalp. It can usually be treated with anti-biotics.
If a child or teenager applies an unnatural and excessive amount of tension to their hair over an extended period of time, it can cause a condition known as traction alopecia. For example, wearing unnecessarily tight ponytails, pigtails, or braids for a long period of time can cause hair to become damaged and fall out. Since this condition is a behavioral one as opposed to a genetic condition, it can be easily remedied simply by identifying and halting the behaviors that cause it.
Unconscious Hair Pulling and Plucking
Another behavioral cause of children’s hair loss, albeit one with a psychological component, is Trichotillomania. This disorder occurs when a child or teenager pulls their hair until it is uprooted, often leaving large areas of thin hair, damaged follicles, or total baldness. The best course of treatment for this type of hair loss is to consult a mental health professional or behavioral therapist to learn more about why the behavior is occurring, and how behavioral modification can be implemented to reduce this harmful conduct.
If a child is malnourished or has an unhealthy diet, their body will have a hard time getting the macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs to maintain healthy hair. While eating well may not be enough to reverse pattern baldness, eating foods for healthy hair can certainly help to improve the health and longevity of existing hair.
Learn More About Hair Loss and Restoration
Schedule a hair loss evaluation to learn more about effective treatment with the world-renowned experts at the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. Please contact our clinic today at 305-925-0222.