Is your child shedding hairs? Are you afraid he is afflicted with cancer or a major disease? Before you worry, please consider the reasons for hair loss in children. It may not be as major as you think.
Hair loss in children affects nearly two million children in the U.S., 60% of these cases are easily reversible without need for treatment. Of course, you may worry about the next 40%, thus, you need to know some information about hair loss in children. This will help you rule out cancer and other medical problems.
Common causes of hair loss in children
1. Tinea Capitis
The other name for this condition is ringworm of the scalp. The cause of this condition is fungal infection affecting the skin in the scalp, eyelashes and eyebrows. This ringworm attacks the hair follicles and thus hair shedding happens. The common cause of tinea capitis that leads to hair loss in children is minor bruising in the scalp that catches infection.
Contact with another child with this condition may cause transfer of this problem. Sharing combs, brushes, pillows, or bath towel may also result in the transfer of Tinea Capitis.
2. Alopecia Areata
The same hair loss problem for adults may likewise affect your child. Alopecia Areata is an immune disorder that causes hair loss. Your child may loose hair and patches of peach-colored scalp may show. There is usually no scaling or inflammation, the scalp feels normal.
The common cause of alopecia areata that leads to hair loss in children is immune disorder; causal factors include nervousness, hyperactive disorders, psychological stress, and other foods. There is a big chance that if anyone in the family has alopecia areata, the hair loss in your child may be connected to it.
3. Traction Alopecia
This hair loss condition affects girls. Traction alopecia is due to hair styling such as pulling the hair into a ponytail, teasing, curling, blow drying and bleaching.
If your child is experiencing this hair loss problem, changing into a normal and simple hairstyle that will not subject the hair and the hair follicles to stress may reverse the hair loss condition.
4. Trichotillomania Hair Loss
This is a condition where the child has the tendency to pull his own hair. It may be out of nervousness, stress, or psychological problem. You may reverse hair loss in children such as trichotillomania if you are able to help your child cope with his or her emotions.
Some people say that you may oil the hair so that your child cannot pull it easily but then it may be better to refer your child to a psychologist. There may be an underlying problem and arresting such problem will reverse the hair loss problem of your child.
Hair loss in children is manageable. As mentioned above, 60% of it is reversible without much effort. The next 40% needs the attention of your health care provider. This is to ensure that you will be able to arrest the problem from its source.