Hair Loss in Infants and Children
Protecting Your Child from the Stigma of Hair Loss
The emotional effects of hair loss are often significantly more distressing on children than on adults. The child suffering from this condition often doesn’t understand the cause and tends to think that there’s just something wrong with him/her. Additionally, other children will often subject the child to teasing and bullying as a result of the condition, making it much more of a social burden than it would be for an adult.
There are many myths about children’s hair loss. Some hold that vitamin deficiency, poor scalp circulation, headbands, hats, or cold weather can bring it on. Unfortunately the causes of hair loss in children are not quite that simple. They are, in actuality, numerous and varied and can include trauma resulting from an accident, symptoms of birth defects, scarring from surgery to remedy birth defects, and alopecia areata.
While surgical methods, such as microscope-assisted follicular grafting, are often chosen for those with baldness due to trauma, a non-surgical approach should always be selected for children with alopecia areata or other disorders, including injections of cortisone, UVA light in combination with a topical photosensitizing medicine, Rogaine®, and anthralin.
Other causes of hair loss in children are:
- Telogen effluvium (a condition brought on by a high fever or excess stress)
- Tinea capitis (a fungal infection)
- Trichotillomania (a compulsive disorder in which the child pulls his/her hair out)
- Traction alopecia (hair being damaged and pulled out by ponytails, braiding, etc.)
- Scarring from trauma or surgical procedures
While surgical methods, such as microscope-assisted follicular grafting, are often chosen for those with baldness due to trauma, a non-surgical approach should always be selected for children with alopecia areata or other disorders.