Alopecia Alopecia in Children Alopecia in Children: Definitive Guide

Alopecia in Children: Definitive Guide

La alopecia in children it is something stressful and very common, even more so for parents who often do not find the cause.

Alopecia in children is a rare but existing condition that can be acquired or congenital. You want to know more? Here we tell you everything.

We understand that alopecia or baldness In children it can be stressful for parents, sometimes it seems that it is not even normal. However, it must be taken into account that hair loss is a natural process of the body.

Hair needs to be renewed, just as the leaves of a tree fall and are reborn, the same goes for our hair. So, this problem does not overwhelm you because, as you saw, it is something natural.

But it is important that as parents we are attentive to certain signs that can make a difference between what is the natural hair loss of your child due to hair renewal to what may already be a problem of alopecia that needs professional attention.

Hair loss is a natural process of the body that serves for growth and renewal. If you notice that a few hairs are falling a day (approximately 50 to 100), don't worry, this is completely natural, but if you start to notice that more hair is falling out of the normally approximate amount and you perceive scarcity in some areas in your head, you could be suffering from alopecia.

As we commonly know, alopecia affects men more than women, and although it may seem strange, it is also possible that some children suffer from it for different reasons. It can be due to genetic causes, diseases or even frequent metabolic disorders due to changes in diet.

Hair is a protein structure that does not have much functional importance in our body but rather fulfills a merely aesthetic function, however, despite its little functional relevance, there may be an intense psychological or emotional alteration on children, adolescents and their families if you suffer from alopecia.

Baby hair

Babies lose hair With which they are born during their first months of life, it could be said that they shed their hair so that later the final one comes out during their development process. Hair begins to fall out between eight and twelve weeks of age, and begins to grow back between three and seven months of age. It is up to two years when the hair begins to grow thicker.

There is a rumor that cutting babies' hair works to make them grow stronger, which is a lie. The number and location of the individual hair follicles are genetically determined. Once the baby is born, it is not possible for it to form new follicles later.

When to pay attention?

You really should never stop paying attention to your little one. Just as it can be normal in your body, it can also be the opposite, since hair may not grow back and leave traces of hairless on your scalp.

If you begin to notice that you have areas with low hair density and you can also notice gaps, then you should go to a doctor to check it and can prescribe some treatment.

What is childhood alopecia?

As in adults, hair loss is a normal process of hair renewal in children. But it is true that there are times when we notice a greater loss of hair, eventually depopulating some areas completely. Why does this happen at such a young age?

Childhood alopecia is a problem that occurs in children. This happens for different reasons, among the best known is because the hair is renewing and must begin to grow again.

When alopecia appears as something more serious is when the symptoms are accompanied by redness on the scalp or itching. This happens when the hair falls out due to a skin problem or the same organism is causing it.

So, children's alopecia is when the little ones stop growing hair and hairless holes form in their scalps. When hair grows without the need for treatment, it means it is renewing itself.

Hair loss in children can be congenital, that is, alopecia that is associated with inherited defects, but only if it occurs from birth. By this, it should be understood that each type of alopecia is determined by the age at which it appears, in this case, newborns, usually suffer from occipital, triangular alopecia or hairy dysplasias.

In contrast, during late childhood and adolescence, anagen and telogen effluvia predominate, alopecia areata (related disease with low defenses; is associated with emotional and stressful factors), androgenetics, infections, trauma, as well as tumors or trichotillomania (a disease in which the child pulls hair from a specific area such as the neck or bangs).

Therefore, alopecia in children should be paid attention because it can trigger health problems and also cause problems in self-esteem. On the other hand, it is also necessary to mention that the child should not always present alopecia, because it can also be due to lack of volume and density in the hair.

In short, baldness or hair loss is something that does not distinguish between age and sex. The problem transcends self-esteem and therefore, people who suffer from it fall into depression.

Symptoms of Alopecia in children

Thinning and hair loss may be some signs that your child has alopecia, but the correct diagnosis will make his treatment successful.

It is unusual for young children to develop alopecia at a young age, but this does not mean that it does not happen. Most of the time, when children have this problem, it is due to other factors.

The most common factor that causes hair to fall out is because it is renewing itself, that is, it falls out to regrow. Which is totally normal, even with you it always happens.

In order for hair loss to be diagnosed as alopecia, it is necessary that the hair does not grow back and, therefore, create some holes in the scalp that do not contain follicles.

The symptoms usually vary, since it is not only present in hair loss. Itching, and sometimes a rash in areas where there is little or no hair density, is another symptom of alopecia.

What to do in case of alopecia in children?

From the beginning, you should consult a hair specialist. From this consultation, you will be able to have a clear overview of your little one's problem and, therefore, know with certainty a solution for the condition.

Remember that it is important not to risk the health and well-being of your child with remedies of doubtful quality, there is no better person who can treat this problem than a expert. So, do not hesitate to visit it and take your little one.

What causes alopecia in children?

Is there a way to prevent excessive hair loss in our children?

To know how to prevent and treat it in case it already happens, it is important to know the causes that promote alopecia in children, and these are some of the main reasons.

Preventing hair loss in children cannot be done because it is usually unpredictable when it occurs. What works is to check that your child does not have low hair density or even gaps.

What then causes alopecia in children?

As we mentioned before, the causes of alopecia in children are, in addition to creating insecurity regarding their self-esteem, low hair density, little hair and holes on the sides that resemble the size of a coin.

Hair loss in children

Alopecia in children can be congenital if they occur from birth. They can also be classified as scarring or non-scarring, depending on whether or not there is reversible damage to the hair follicle due to injury to the scalp.

Generally, each type of alopecia is determined by age, for example, in babies or young children, the most frequent hair diseases are: occipital alopecia of the newborn, triangular or hair dysplasias. In late childhood and adolescence, anagen effluvia predominates and telogens, alopecia areata (AA), androgenetics, infections (inflammatory ringworms), trauma and tumors or trichotillomania.

Congenital alopecia

This type of alopecia is associated with hereditary defects that can be noticed from birth or until a later time. Most of them are irrelevant temporal disorders, however, it is necessary to pay attention to possible syndromes with developmental disorders that associate different types of alopecia.

Scarring and non-scarring alopecia

Scarring alopecia refers to a developmental defect, infections that cause severe inflammatory damage, severe physical trauma, irradiation, infiltrative diseases, and other dermatoses. It causes a follicular destruction and therefore they are permanent and not reversible

Non-scarring alopecia can be secondary to inflammatory skin diseases, alterations in the growth cycle or in the structure of the hair, in addition to traumatic alterations such as trichotillomania or alopecia due to traction or pressure. In severe cases, non-scarring alopecia can become scarring.

trichotillomania

Some children suffer from this condition, normally related to a process of anxiety and compulsiveness. It is considered a mental disorder where the child pulls his hair, usually from a specific area such as the nape of the neck or the bangs. In this disease, the help of a psychologist is needed to treat it and find out what causes it. This can be a cause of alopecia in children.

Androgenetic alopecia

It is a common form of hair loss that affects most men over time. It is also known as male pattern baldness. Despite its name, women can also develop it, although the process of hair loss is different between both sexes. It is produced by a combination of genetic predisposition, environmental stimuli, and hormonal levels. It is important to detect an underlying hormonal abnormality such as precocious puberty or polycystic ovary syndrome.

alopecia areata in the children

Have you noticed that lately your son, in addition to his hair falling out, you can see some empty holes in his scalp? This is because your child is having a problem with alopecia areata.

What is alopecia areata?

Hair loss is generally listed in adults; which, for some people, finding this case in small is usually seen as unusual. However, alopecia can occur at any age.

Alopecia areata is what we know as hair loss. It is a disease that does not put the lives of children at risk, in this case, but that the body mistakenly perceives as a threat to the hair follicles and attacks them so that the result is their loss.

When the body attacks the follicle, it unfortunately causes the hair to fall out. For scientists, the cause of this disease is genetics.

symptom

The main symptom is hair loss; However, something that sets it apart from other alopecia is that in the areas that have lost their follicles, the shape of a small circle the size of a coin is created.

Alopecia areata is a disease that usually has unforeseen changes, such as suddenly growing back or the opposite. It is so unpredictable that hair can grow back, but it can also cause the problem of falling out again.

Treatment

Actually, there is no cure for alopecia areata. However, as mentioned, hair can grow back on the small one.

Perhaps the only way this has a solution is through self-healing, otherwise a hair doctor may prescribe steroid-containing treatments that are applied to the scalp and re-grow satisfactorily.

So do not lose hope, your little one can return to having hair in the areas that lost it, either independently or with the help of a specialist. The solutions exist.

Traction alopecia

It can be caused by the type of hairstyles; by the constant use of caps, hats or helmets. Here we tell you how to avoid this procedure in your children.

Many of us suffered from small the tight and stretched hairstyles that our mother made us to be presentable at school or at parties. Do you remember that he even used gel jars or even lemons to get any hair out of place? Ouch!

Did you know that those hairstyles make your hair weak and fall out? If you followed in your mom's footsteps, you are surely doing the same as her with your little one's hair.

Let us tell you that this is a bad idea for healthy growth of your child's hair, so we recommend that you try to keep your hair naturally loose as much as possible so that there is better blood irrigation.

So tight hairstyles create alopecia?

Do not be alarmed, alopecia is a disease that is caused by the same organism. However, tight hairstyles like tight pigtails or braids do cause traction alopecia.

At the time of combing and pulling the hair forcefully, it causes the hair to weaken and end up falling out, since the follicle does not resist the force that is being applied to the hair, causing it to end up becoming weak.

How to avoid this?

Simple, stop using that technique on their hair, since you are damaging their scalp. Try to make hairstyles that do not require that force and that make them feel comfortable or as we mentioned above, according to your possibilities, let your hair walk through life naturally.

trichotillomania

This is a disease that usually arises from an anxiety process and is characterized by a nervous tic where the child pulls the hair until it is pulled out. Do you want to know more about this condition?

Have you noticed that your child is pulling his hair out? You may not know it, but this is a disorder that people and children consciously do, in this case. In the little ones, performing this action gives them pleasure as soon as they pull their hair, but later on it will become a habit that makes them feel discomfort.

Complications

  • Pulling your hair out will result in aesthetically losing hair density.
  • The skin will start to become irritated.

Treatments

The treatment usually derives in two parts, since some cases are advanced that need a different one from another that has the same disorder.

Therapies help patients talk about what makes them feel stressed, since it is the main cause for them to pull out their hair. Trichotillomania is associated with depression, anxiety, or, in older cases, substance use.

On the other hand, medications are another way to treat this mental disorder. In this process, the doctor must prescribe what medications the person or, in this case, child should take. This has helped 40% of the patients who suffered from it.

Diseases

Some diseases such as anemia or a lack of protein in the child's diet can also cause hair loss, giving rise to telogen effluvia, the latter are generated by the body when reacting against an external factor such as psychic stress in difficult situations .

There are also diffuse alopecia that appear as a consequence of other systemic diseases (endocrine or metabolic). Anxiety and taking some medications or treatments such as chemotherapy are also factors that involve hair loss.

Mushrooms

In this category caused by fungi they are known as ringworms. Tinea capitis is a fungal infection of the scalp that appears as an alopecic plaque with peeling and itching in most cases. Having contact with some animals can be the reason of infection by fungi and can cause depopulation of hair.

Tinea Capitis

This is a factor that causes hair loss in children and is caused by the spread of a fungus, but how does the fungus get to your child's head and where is it spread?

Ringworm capitis is a disease that occurs on the scalp and is caused by a skin infection. This problem occurs in an annular or circular shape.

Also, it is due to a conjunction of various fungi called dermatophytes. These fungi attack the outer layer of the scalp skin and the hair shaft, thereby causing it to become infected.

How can I know if I have Tinea Capitis?

The signs that will tell you if you have this disease will appear in different ways, including:

- Some areas will look scaly on top of the scalp or where hair has shed.

- Slowly expanding spots are displayed.

- There are areas of scaly, grayish or reddened appearance.

- Areas of the scalp with small black dots.

- Brittle hair that falls off easily.

- In more severe cases, the areas of the scalp are tender or painful with palpitation.

It's contagious?

Yes, Tinea Capitis is contagious and can be from one human to another, as well as from one object to another or from an animal to a human being. So, as you will notice, this disease can be contracted both from objects and from living beings.

The way you can prevent yourself is to use shampoo regularly; not to share personal objects like clothes, brushes, towels; avoid contact with animals or people who are infected at all costs.

And if I already get it ... what do I do?

What you should do is immediately go to the doctor to make a diagnosis and prescribe a treatment for your child. This is the only way you can get rid of Ringworm that your little one has.

Seborrheic dermatitis

When the sebaceous glands produce more sebum than normal, the child's scalp is covered with an extra layer of fat, preventing the normal development of the hair follicle and causing hair loss.

Universal Alopecia

This is a condition that has as its main characteristic the complete loss of hair on the scalp.

The exact causes are still unknown, but your child may have this type of alopecia because genetics is one of the main reasons for alopecia to occur in people, regardless of age.

This is because it is something that is inherited from generation to generation and cannot be easily stopped.

The chain that is developing, ends up affecting people or, in this case, the children who suffer from them, which causes a lack of self-esteem since it is not well regarded by society due to the dream of the stereotype of shiny hair and abundant.

Another cause of alopecia in general is that the density of the hair drops abruptly over time. Abundant hair does not fit into this section due to consistent hair loss.

Itching and redness are yet another alteration caused by alopecia. This means that the problem goes beyond what it really is, and this is another reason that can terribly damage the follicle.

How is alopecia cured in children?

To know exactly the hair therapy that can be given to your child to treat alopecia, it is important to know the correct diagnosis through a specialist doctor, for now, here we mention some of the main treatments to combat it.

Alopecia is a problem where the follicle is no longer nourishing enough to grow. Alopecia, when it can still be treated with products, can achieve good results.

  • Ketoconazole: It is one of the most requested products and is a shampoo that is commonly used to treat dandruff, but it is also used as a treatment for greater effectiveness against baldness.
  • Minoxidil: It is a hair lotion that helps increase blood flow and, therefore, the follicles can receive more oxygen and nutrients. In this way the follicle will be nourished and will be able to grow significantly. For a satisfactory result, the use of this lotion should be daily, at least twice a day. One in the day and one at night, for example.
  • Hair Mesotherapy: This treatment can improve the quality of life of the hair. It consists of applying by means of small injections, natural extracts of plants, vitamins and medicines to the scalp. It is used to avoid the first symptoms of baldness in both sexes.
  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP): It consists of injecting into the scalp. Blood that was previously extracted from the patient is added and then centrifuged, it penetrates the interior of the follicle and then it will grow with more force as a lot of blood will circulate in the follicle.

Are there natural remedies to treat childhood alopecia?

For there to be favorable results in combating your child's alopecia, it is important that you always go to a specialist doctor who will give you the appropriate treatment. However, nature gives us these elements that will also help you combat and prevent it.

Human beings are characterized by finding solutions to different problems. In this case, the problem of alopecia has various home remedies on the web because you want to find something to repair the damage of hair loss.

However, you must take into account that it is not the same to look for home remedies for baldness or alopecia than to hydrate and grow hair. The difference is that growing hair is based on the length it has, on the other hand, with alopecia, it is making new hair grow in areas where there is none.

Growing hair with natural ingredients, when there is an alopecia problem, can be tricky. This is because when there is alopecia, many times it is because the follicle that is in charge of growing new hair has fallen out; When one follicle ceases to exist, another cannot be grown.

Therefore, a follicle cannot regenerate because it is not in its nature to do so. So are there home remedies for alopecia? No. Even if you find endless home remedies on the web, including chili shampoo, to help your hair grow. Others like spreading garlic, onion, coconut oil, green tea on the hair. These will not work.

The only results you will have, in this case for alopecia, will not be satisfactory because you simply will not see changes and you will only have damaged your scalp, as well as the excess hair.

Conclusion about Alopecia in Children

If we observe any anomaly in the growth or health of our children's hair, the care and attention we provide will depend on their health in the future. Even, in many cases, a just-time analysis can detect some underlying pathology related to hair loss, which in the end can help detect and diagnose the problem to end it as soon as possible. In addition to avoiding negative psychological influences on children that alopecia can cause.

Also remember that "alopecia in children" may not really be alopecia and can only be a lack of volume and density.

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Dr. Enrique Orozco
Dr. Enrique Orozcohttps://dreoclinic.com/
General Director, Specialist in Trichology and Hair Transplantation Certified by ABHRS. Only ABHRS Certified with residence in Mexico.

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Dr. Enrique Orozco
General Director, Specialist in Trichology and Hair Transplantation Certified by ABHRS. Only ABHRS Certified with residence in Mexico.

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