Hair Loss in Kids: Many people are conversant with people experiencing hair loss as they age; however, children experiencing the same is not common to many, but this is a natural practice. Research has indicated that hair loss in children contributes to 3% of pediatric office visits in the United States.
However, most children experience hair loss due to fungal, bacterial, and traction alopecia infections. Also, the most common type of hair loss in children is ringworm, a fungal infection, but the good thing about this is that it is treatable. But it is also important to note that hormonal imbalances, genetics, and lifestyle could also influence hair loss in children. Therefore if your child is experiencing hair loss, it should not be a big issue since, with a proper diagnosis, it could be treated, or even the doctors could reverse it.
However, it is important that different children could be experiencing different symptoms, but most kids have reported itching or sensitive scalp in some cases.
What will cause hair loss in a child?
Numerous things could cause hair loss in children, but most are due to health conditions. Therefore, the child’s pediatrician will examine the child to know the underlying course for the right medication. But the following are some of the common causes of childhood hair loss.
- Fungal ringworm
This is among the most common fungal infections resulting in hair loss in children. There are numerous ways to experience this, but in most cases, children will have scaly patches of hair loss on their heads. The hair could break at the skin’s surface and look like black dots, but they are usually oval or round. Besides, this is a common health issue for children but is treatable. After conducting a microscopic examination to confirm the cause is ringworm infection, doctors will administer antifungals like griseofulvin, which can be taken up to eight weeks to ensure it is well treated. Then this fungal infection is very contagious, and good health practice is to educate the child to conduct themselves diligently to minimize its spread.
- Alopecia areata
This is a non-contagious cause of hair loss in children that could be due to the body’s immune system attacking the hair follicles. There are many symptoms that could depict the child suffering from this health condition, but to most children, you will see a sudden appearance of round or oval patches which are slick or smooth. Also, 25% of children have experienced pitting and ridging of nails. Besides, there is no common treatment for curing this condition, but children could be subjected to treatment plans to help the hair regrow, including applying corticosteroid ointments or creams.
This is not natural; it is caused by a person themselves through pulling, plucking, twisting, and rubbing their hair. In most instances, the hair is broken into varying lengths and could even result in a patchy scalp. Children often engage in such activities due to anxiety triggered by external stressors. Thus if you feel your child is engaging in such activities, you should talk to them and find what’s triggering the anxiety. Also, to the ladies, when they are platting their hair, the ponytail holders, when put tightly, could result in losing hair in that hair line, which might even irritate. If that’s the case, look for antibiotic or loosen the braids
When to see a doctor?
Hair loss could be a medical problem, so when you feel it is going past the limits, you contact a doctor to prevent the child from losing more hair. Besides, especially for ladies, due to their long hair, some hair might be broken during combing, which is normal; there is no need to visit a pediatrician. However, if the child experience itching and irritation on their scalp that is not fading away, you can visit the doctor. Also, if the child starts losing eyebrows or eyelashes, has visible bald spots, starts losing more hair than usual, or experiences an injury or burn on their scalp. In that case, you should visit the doctor immediately.
What are treatment options for hair loss?
Hair loss is common; thus, there is already an effective treatment option for this condition. However, the following are the most common ones:
- Using anti-hair fall shampoos
Most people are conversant with the common shampoo used for cleaning and maintaining hair. However, some medicated shampoos are used for treating hair fall, which, when used, help the regrowth of hair and are widely available in the market. Besides, it is important to note that most anti-hair fall shampoos treat temporary hair loss, and conditions like alopecia may not recover from this condition.
- Hair transplant
If the child is experiencing permanent hair loss that is hard to treat with other common hair loss treatment plans, they will have to undergo a hair transplant. These are among the most effective and popular ways of making hair regrow. It is mostly a surgical technique that extracts hair follicles, thus triggering regrowth. However, this method might be slightly expensive.
- Using minoxidil
This is an FDA-approved medication for treating permanent hair loss like alopecia. However, one needs to use it for a long duration, like almost a year, for hair regrowth. Besides, it can be used for treating hair thinning, but when used for an extended duration, one might start experiencing side effects like irritation and dryness on the scalp.
Parents need to understand that hair loss is common in children. Numerous conditions could trigger this, including hormonal imbalances, stress issues, tension, or the lifestyle. Besides, do not hesitate to visit the doctor if you feel it is extreme.
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