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What Causes Hair Loss In Children

Causes Of Hair Loss In Children

What can cause hair loss in a child? – Dr. Rasya Dixit

Hair loss is a scary and frustrating symptom for parents, especially since you don’t really expect kids to lose their hair. Unfortunately, hair loss is a common symptom, even in kids. In many cases the hair loss is temporary and the child’s hair does grow back.

Hair Loss Due To Alopecia In Children: Sign Symptoms And Treatment

Alopecia is a disease which causes partial or complete hair loss. Like adults, it can also affect children. Children can experience hair loss in patches. Sometimes they might become completely bald. Alopecia in children can also cause loss of hair throughout the entire body. It is more common amongst children between 5 to 12 years old. Ringworm called tinea capitis is one of the main causes of this disease. Though there are many causes which triggers hair loss in children, alopecia is the most chronic and concerning factor.

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Here Are The Hair Loss Causes In Teens:


In teens, Hormones tend to make bodily changes and fluctuate the stability in emotions, eating habits, and targets hair growth. There is a particular hormone that lies in the roots of the hair in both genders, and thereby the hormonal changes affect hair the most. This hormone, DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is the prime reason for hair loss. Teens may find hair loss to a greater extent until this hormone stabilizes in their body.


Medications are also responsible for hair loss. The intake of the number of medicines for acne or birth control and PCOS leads to hair thinning and breakage. Other anticoagulants, depression pills, and high vitamin doses can cause hair loss. Some doctors prescribe them such medications to inhibit hair growth in the body to the teens who have excessive hair growth. About 85% of teens suffer from acne and 20% from depression thereby, hair loss is common in such teens.

Poor Nutrition:

Teens do not have the appetite to eat healthily and always rely on junk and processed foods. These foods lack nutrition and cause thinning of hair. Irregular diet and overtraining also cause hair loss. Proper diet and eating nutrition-rich food enhance hair health and cause teenage contribution of lesser hair loss. Hair loss in children is also due to vitamin deficiency.


Deeper Medical Concern:



Alopecia Areata:

Traction Alopecia:

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How Is Alopecia Areata Diagnosed

See your doctor if you are experiencing significant hair loss. There are many reasons for hair loss. Your doctor will look at your hair loss pattern. He or she will review your medical history. They will check to see if the hairless areas of your scalp are smooth and peach-colored. Sometimes, the remaining hair in alopecia areata has a specific shape. Your doctor may pull a couple of hairs from your head to examine under a microscope. If your doctor cant confirm a diagnosis, he may send you to a lab for a test. They will scrape a small sample of skin from your scalp and look at it under a microscope. This can help them rule out other conditions that cause hair loss. You may also have a blood test to look for other autoimmune diseases.

Our Approach To Hair Loss

Hair loss in children: Causes, other symptoms, and treatments

YELASAI approach hair loss from an Ayurveda perspective. Ayurveda teaches that everything in the body is connected and that internal and external imbalances can result in a change of bodily function, such as hair growth.

As children grow, they experience changes in the body. Hormone and cell development can shift functions in the body. These changes can prevent nutrients from reaching the scalp and can interrupt the natural growth cycle of hair. Changes in oil production can create dryness and irritation on the scalp, and external factors such as stress can cause hair to fall out.

Through the principles of Ayurveda, YELASAI care supplies the scalp and body with the nutrients it needs to rejuvenate itself and regain natural cycles.

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Diagnosis Of Hair Loss In Children

In an attempt to facilitate the diagnosis of hair loss in children, it is helpful to have a proper history from the parents the key points in patients history are age of onset of the patient onset of hair loss: sudden or gradual extent of alopecia: patchy or diffuse associated symptoms mental development emotional triggers in the previous few months and any accompanying complaints past medical history family history of alopecia, autoimmune disease, dermatologic or psychiatric disorders hair-grooming practices . Thorough examination of scalp as well as other hair-bearing areas of the body is another key factor in diagnosis of hair loss. The examination should have the following components: type of hair loss: localized or diffuse scarring or nonscarring any hair shaft abnormalities exclamation marks hair texture and fragility presence of pustules, scales, and erythema. Clinical examination of the entire body is necessary to evaluate hair loss, including teeth, skin, and mucous membranes.

How Is Pediatric Alopecia Treated

There are a number of alopecia treatments, depending upon the type of condition for which your child has been diagnosed. If your childs doctor diagnoses tinea capitis, he or she will prescribe an oral antifungal medication and an antifungal shampoo. Your child should not share any hats, pillowcases, or other items that touch the head, because this infection is contagious.

For alopecia areata, there is no cure, but treatment can often control the disorder. If your child is young, his or her doctor may prescribe strong corticosteroid ointments you can apply to bald spots. Other options include intralesional treatment, oral treatment, and topical immunotherapy.

Counseling can help children manage stress that leads to trichotillomania, so your childs doctor may refer you to an appropriate professional. Telogen effluvium has no treatment, so your childs doctor will follow up to ensure hair growth is restored. Nutritional deficiencies if identified can be treated with supplements, but speak to your childs doctor first.

And, if your child is diagnosed with hypothyroidism, a referral to an endocrinologist may be indicated.

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What Are The Clinical Features Of Alopecia Areata In Children

Children typically present with a sudden onset of a solitary patch of hair loss, most commonly on the scalp, characterised by:

  • Well-defined round or oval shape
  • Completely bald smooth surface
  • Exclamation mark hairs at the edge
  • Positive hair tug test at the edge if disease is active.

Alopecia areata can present with multiple patches on any hair-bearing body site, including eyebrows and eyelashes.

Patterns of alopecia areata include:

  • Patchy
  • Ophiasis or sisapho
  • Diffuse

Other Potential Hair Loss Causes In Young Children

Sudden hair breakage/ loss in children! Could it be a medical issue????

Aside from the conditions mentioned above, there are also other factors that contribute to hair loss in young children. Some of these are endocrine or thyroid problems, hair abuse, too much rubbing and bacterial infections. Structural abnormalities affecting the hair shaft can also cause dry, and brittle hair that breaks off easily.

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Symptoms Of Alopecia Areata

The main symptom of alopecia areata is hair loss that occurs in small, round patches on your head. This leaves smooth, peach-colored areas of scalp exposed. A mild case of alopecia areata starts with one to two coin-size hairless patches. In many instances, it stops after that. Sometimes, the hair will grow back. However, theres no guarantee. The condition is unpredictable, and the cycle of hair loss and regrowth can repeat itself.

Alopecia areata can grow into another form of alopecia. In its worst form, alopecia universalis causes you to lose all body hair. This includes eyebrows, eyelashes, arms, legs, underarms, pubic, and chest and back hair for men. Rarely, people who have alopecia may feel burning or itching in the areas where they once had hair.

Some people with alopecia areata see changes in their fingernails and toenails. Nails can have tiny dents , have white spots or lines, and be rough.

Can Alopecia Areata Be Prevented Or Avoided

The condition cannot be prevented or avoided. The cause is unknown and varies by person. Alopecia areata is not tied to stress, as some people believe. Some people have a family history of alopecia areata. Having a family member with alopecia areata and another immune system disease can raise your risk of having it. Other immune system diseases include type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, lupus, Addisons disease, and atopic dermatitis. It is rare for a parent to pass the condition onto a child.

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Natural Cures For Hair Loss In Children

While hair loss is largely considered an adult condition, it can just as easily affect children. Just knowing it is a fairly common childhood condition isnt enough to calm your fears or your childs anxiety about hair loss, though. We have a variety of natural treatment options, however, that will help you and your child deal with the condition. Apple cider vinegar, biotin, and coconut oil are three of the best options for treating hair loss in children naturally.

What Are The Symptoms Of Alopecia Areata

What Are The Main Causes Of Hair Loss In Children ...

Alopecia areata frequently presents as the sudden onset of smooth, round, hairless patches on the scalp. The affected areas are usually skin-colored but may have a peach color. Occasionally, there are scattered short colored or white hairs within the hairless patch.

In alopecia areata, there is no redness or scaling on the surface of the skin. Children usually first present with one to several small patches on the scalp, but occasionally experience with more rapid hair loss involving nearly the entire scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes and body hair. Your childs nails may show small pits in the surface.

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Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • How much hair do I need to lose before calling my doctor?
  • If one of my parents has alopecia areata, is there a genetics test I can take to determine if I will get it?
  • If my hair loss has lasted more than a year, what are the chances it will return?
  • Do certain diseases put people at risk for developing alopecia areata?

Treatment For Hair Loss

Hair loss treatment usually works well. Also, most cases that are treated early wont cause scarring.

The type of treatment your child needs will depend on the underlying cause of the hair loss.

Many children with small patches of alopecia areata will have hair regrowth without treatment. If your childs bald patches are getting worse, your doctor might prescribe corticosteroid cream or another treatment for the affected area for a few weeks. If your child has complete or rapid hair loss, your doctor might prescribe an oral medicine.

Some older children might feel upset or stressed about their bald patches. Talking with a GP or counsellor might help.

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What Causes Alopecia Areata In Children

Alopecia areata is considered to be an organ-specific autoimmune condition of the hair follicle on a genetic background.

Alopecia areata often runs in families, and has been reported in monozygotic twins. Up to 25% of children will have at least one affected family member, and many have multiple relations with alopecia areata. It is reported to be common in Down syndrome and Turner syndrome autoimmune disease is particularly common in Turner syndrome. This suggests a genetic predisposition to developing alopecia areata. However, investigations suggest the association is complex and polygenic.

Many hypotheses have been proposed attempting to explain the development of alopecia areata, but at this time the detailed pathogenesis is not understood.

Transient Neonatal Hair Loss

Does your child suffer from hairfall? – Dr. Divya Sharma

Transient neonatal hair loss encompasses the very common phenomenon of neonatal occipital alopecia and development of bald patches in other locations. Healthy babies have been observed to develop alopecic oval patches, most notably in the occiput, during the first 2 months of life. Friction was the presumed cause of TNHL, with the occiput particularly affected due to supine sleeping positions. However, recent retrospective studies found no association between TNHL and sleeping positions. TNHL has a benign course with no accompanying symptoms, and the hair spontaneously regrows .

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Coping With Hair Fall In Children

Hair loss is a frustrating and stressful experience for children. From being teased in school to feeling inadequate due to being different, it is imperative as a parent to support your child emotionally and psychologically before and after the childs hair loss treatment. Heres what you can do:

  • Tell your child its alright to be bald and that a lack of hair doesnt make her different
  • Emotionally support your child by telling her its okay to go through this phase and it takes time for treatment. Additionally, build up your childs self-esteem by being non-judgmental and showing that you care about what she is and not how she looks.
  • Allow your child and provide her with accessories like bandannas and caps if she wants to conceal the affected areas on the scalp.
  • If your child wants to wear a wig let her wear it unless it promotes fungal infections and the doctor advises against it.
  • If your child is a teenager, educate her about hair loss concepts and provide her with clarity on her condition. Also, tell her about the mode of treatment and how long it will last.

Early Signs And Symptoms Of Alopecia In Children:

If your child is less than 6 months old and losing hair, then there is no problem. However, if your child is more than 6 months old, then losing hair can indicate alopecia. These are the typical signs and symptoms of alopecia:

  • Clumps of hair coming off whilst combing.
  • Oval bald patches appearing on the top of the head.
  • Very smooth, exposed bald patch.
  • Short, light-colored hair surrounding the bald area.
  • Sometimes the bald area is flaky or crusty.
  • Fingernails might have rows of small dents.

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Treatments Of Alopecia In Children :

There are no specific treatments or care. However, sometimes hair comes back after therapy. If the cause of alopecia is fungal infection, then oral-medication might be necessary. The medication needs to be taken for four to eight weeks.

Cure also includes anti-fungal shampoo, two to three times per week, for eight weeks or so. This can decrease the rate of scaling. There are also a wide variety of treatments available for alopecia areata. It suppresses the immune system to combat the disease. However, the side effects of the medication surpass the potential benefits derived from it.

Some of the creams and lotions help to grow hair in the bald patches. But it does not treat the disease. Sometimes bad nutrition causes alopecia. In those cases the doctor prescribes proper diet.


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