Children’s Hair Loss


Nearly 2 Million children suffer from at least one form of Alopecia or another in the USA alone. The good news is that at least 60% of children with Alopecia will "outgrow" the condition without need for treatment. As with all forms of Alopecia, a reversal and complete restoration of hair takes time - sometimes up to a year or more, but for the vast majority of children, it will resolve itself. The bad news is that 40% won’t have such luck, which can be quite frustrating both for the parents and the child affected by this often cosmetically embarrassing condition. Please keep in mind: hair loss in children is not due to vitamin deficiencies (unless extreme malnutrition is present), poor scalp circulation, headbands, hats, or cold weather. Diagnosis is typically as simple as an evaluation of the risk factors (which we are about to review), a visual examination of the type of loss, and lab tests that your dermatologist can order and evaluate.


Tinea Capitis

This is a disease caused by fungal infection of the skin of the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes, with a propensity for attacking hair shafts and follicles. It is also called "ringworm of the scalp". The condition is caused by a fungus that invades the hair shaft and causes the hairs to break. The bare patch of hair loss is often round and the scalp takes on a black-dotted stubble appearance from hair shafts broken off at the surface. There may also be mild itching and scaling. The condition is transmitted by contact from one infected child to another through the sharing of combs, brushes, hats, barrettes, pillows and bath towels. Minor bruising of the scalp occasionally provides an entry for the microscopic fungus. Children three to ten years of age are more susceptible and boys are more than girls. Ringworm of the scalp is not dangerous. Without treatment, however, the hair loss can be considerable. ThymuSkin will not cure this type of hair loss.

 

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata is the most common form of hair loss in children. The typical story is the sudden appearance of one or more totally bald areas in the scalp. The child with this condition loses hair in circular patches sometimes up to two inches in diameter. The hair at the borders of these patches is loose, but the peach-colored scalp looks and feels normal, without scaling or inflammation. There may be just a few patches of hair loss or a total absence of body hair. Alopecia areata is not life-threatening, and children who have it are otherwise healthy. Why the hair falls out from the roots is still a mystery. What is known is that the condition is not contagious, caused by foods, or the result of nervousness, hyperactive disorders, or psychological stress. In 20% of cases another family member has been affected. Some patients with this condition will also develop a grid-like pitting of the nails. Fortunately, over 80% children with Alopecia areata grow new hair back within twelve months. Oddly, the new hair may temporarily be white, but eventually the hair returns to its natural color. This is a much higher resolution rate than is seen in adults with the same condition, so the news is good. ThymuSkin is very effective against this form of Alopecia.

 

Traction Alopecia

This is physical damage to the hair, another common cause of hair loss, particularly in girls. The human hair is quite fragile and really does not respond well to the many physical and chemical assaults it has to endure in the name of beauty. Constant teasing, fluffing, combing, washing, curling, blow drying, hot combing, straightening and bleaching can do a number on the fragile hairs, causing them to fall out, especially those by the hair line and along the front and sides. In adults, this typically is not as much of a problem, as the hair has grown in strength and quality over several years, but it can pose a problem for our little companions who typically have much thinner, fairer, less dense hair. Styles that apply tension to the hair, such as tight ponytails, braiding, barrettes, and permanent waving can also damage the hair. Treatment for children's traction Alopecia is to handle the hair gently, as little as possible, and use natural hair styles. The hair will usually return, but regrowth can be slow. Injured hair follicles do not heal quickly and often take three or more months before they are back to their growing phase. If the problem has created scarring tissue on the scalp ThymuSkin will not be effective.

 

Telogen Effluvium

Following a high fever, flu, or severe emotional stress, hairs that were in their growth phase can sometimes be suddenly converted into their resting phase. Two to four months later, when the child is otherwise fine and the stress is forgotten, these hairs can begin to shed. The shedding, which is actually a mass exodus of follicles from growth into dormancy, can last for up to six weeks. The hair loss is not total nor does it tend to show up in patches. It typically just appears thin throughout the scalp. Unless the initial cause is repeated, all the hairs normally return (Telogen effluvium explains why many mothers lose so much hair weeks after childbirth). Most parents who bring their child to the physician for this condition are worried that the youngster has cancer or another bad disease. Hair takes between 3 and 6 months to re-enter into growth phase, so the restoration can be somewhat slow. ThymuSkin  may help to speed up hair growth.

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