Hair loss is a problem that affects people of all ages – even children. Whether their hair loss is characterised by a few areas of thinning or specific bald patches, children's hair loss can be frightening for the child and their parents. It is important to know just what the diagnosis is for your children's hair loss in order to find the appropriate treatment.
Ringworm, medically known as tinea capitis, is a fungal infection which affects many children. It shows itself in various different ways, but the most common trait of tinea capitis are scaly patches of hair loss from the scalp, which are round or oval in shape. The hair is also much more delicate, often breaking off at the surface of the skin; while this is a scary time of young people, the good news is that it can be treated using an oral anti-fungal or anti-fungal shampoo to reduce the infection from shedding, however, ringworm is contagious – so should ensure that their hair accessories or styling tools are not shared.
Another diagnosis of children's hair loss is alopecia areata – a condition that affects 50% of the adult population too. It is thought that alopecia areata is an auto-immune disorder, whereby the body's immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, stopping them from producing healthy hairs, resulting in smooth bald patches. Another characteristic of alopecia areata in children can be pitting and ridging of the nails (this happens to roughly ¼ of them). There is no cure yet for alopecia areata, however most children will be able to control the issue, and will see hair re-growth within a year; however, approximately 5% of sufferers will go on to develop alopecia totalis or universalis – a total loss of scalp hair or all bodily hair.
Trichotillomania could be another underlying cause of your children's hair loss disorder. This is a compulsive disorder, whereby the sufferer subconsciously pulls, plucks, twists or rubs the hair, resulting in hair fall. Typically trichotillomania leaves broken hairs of varying length all over the scalp. In adults, trichotillomania is thought to have been caused by a stressful event, however, this could relate to confidence issues too. Children who do suffer from trichotillomania may benefit from sitting down to discuss how they are feeling and attempting to combat whatever it is that is troubling them.
A less likely, but still possible cause of children's hair loss could be due to a nutritional deficiency. Whether it is vitamin H or biotin, zinc or iron, having a healthy and well balanced diet is vital for children, and for those who don't receive enough of particular vitamins it is viable to provide them with supplements – but always consult the child's doctor before distributing these.
For children who are suffering from a hair loss disorder, whether it is partial or an issue that has resulted in total baldness, non-surgical hair replacement is a solution. Hair systems that are attached using ¼mm thick polyurethane or super fine monofilament bases which are comfortable and hypoallergenic allow children to sport a full head of hair with no tell-tale indicators, restoring their confidence as well as their hair. The hair systems can be worn during all activities, so there is no worry about them flying off too!