Alopecia or hair loss can occur at any age. While it nearly always has an impact on self-image and confidence, it can be particularly distressing when parents notice their kids are losing their hair. What causes hair loss in children and what can parents do about it?
If you notice that a newborn or very young baby develops bald spots, don’t panic. This type of hair loss is due to friction caused by the head rubbing on mattresses, mats, and other surfaces that the baby lays on. Because babies of this age can’t lift their heads properly, the hair is constantly having friction applied, which can cause abrasion and literally rub away the soft baby hair.
There’s no need to worry, as this hair will grow back once the baby starts lifting their own head more regularly. However, you might want to consider using a gentle hairbrush before bedtime to flatten the hair as much as possible, which could reduce the risk of bald spots.
Other friction-related hair loss can come from overstyling or tight hairstyles.
Stress can disrupt the hair’s natural growth cycle. This could cause more hair to fall out than is normal, usually several weeks after a stressful episode or trauma. If the source of stress is removed, this type of hair loss should resolve. Ongoing stressors, such as problems at school or home, should be addressed directly to prevent hair loss from recurring.
Ringworm or Tinea capitis is one of the most common causes of hair loss in children. It’s a fungal infection that causes round, bald, and inflamed areas. It can make hair look patchy and can be distressing for both children and parents. The good news is that it is easily treatable with antifungal medication.
Immune System Disorders
Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss caused by a disruption to the immune system. The immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, leading to patchy hair loss or even total baldness (Alopecia totalis). Alopecia areata affects 1 in 1,000 kids, including teenagers. It can have a big impact on their social life, causing embarrassment, low self-esteem, and isolation. Thankfully, there are support groups out there for both parents and children. It’s helpful for parents to be open and clear about the disease with their kids, and seek out the appropriate treatment with the advice of an expert.
Three percent of all pediatrician visits are due to hair loss, so if you’re worried about your children’s hair, you’re not alone. Speak to a specialist at New-U to find out what your options are. To schedule a free consultation, click here.
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