Baldness or alopecia common in Adults but it is not just a problem for adults. Now a day's hair thinning and baldness is appearing in children too. Fortunately with an appropriate and early diagnosis most of the hair loss cases can be treated successfully. Despite the fact that losing hair isn't generally life threatening, it can create emotional & psychological stress in young child.
Hair loss or Baldness in children is an serious complaint in Pediatric & Dermatology hospitals and considered as a major challenge for pediatricians and dermatologists in terms of diagnosis and treatment for their patients. There are common and uncommon reasons for this health condition. Proper diagnosis is important and prevention of further hair loss is mandatory. Early diagnosis and treatment is needed, as it has its effect on development of emotional & psychological stress in young child.
General causes of hair thinning or hair loss in children include telogen effluvium, bacterial infections, tinea capitis, trichotillomania, traction alopecia, alopecia areata. In addition to these other less often causes of hair loss in children can be seen including illness, thyroid disorders, other diseases such as diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematosus, iron deficiency anemia, poor nutrition or malnutrition, structural abnormalities of the hair shaft that usually results in easy breakage and dry brittle hair.
Alopecia or hair loss in Children can be classified into 2types call congenital and acquired. General causes of pediatric alopecia or hair loss in children like alopecia areata, tinea capitis, trichotillomania and traction alopecia are reversible if diagnosed early. A holistic approach would include not just therapeutic intervention but also an active search for associated nutritional deficits, underlying psychosocial disturbances and behavioral problems is required to treat pediatric alopecia. Children with irreversible hair loss can be offered camouflage devices such as patches, wigs and surgical hair transplantation etc.
COMMON HAIR DISORDERS IN CHILDREN :-
1. FUNGAL INFECTIONS :- TINEA CAPITIS is commonest fungal infection in children , very contagious , spreads by sharing combs, hats or pillows or by using contaminated instruments in barber shops.
a. Antifungal medications are advised
b. Preventive measures should be taken to prevent spread and recurrence
2. LICE INFESTATION(PEDICULOSIS CAPITIS):- Most common in school children . Head lice are contagious by sharing combs and hats or by touching head to head. Most common symptom is itching on the scalp.
a. Medicated shampoos are advised
b. Preventive measures to be taken
3. ALOPECIA AREATA :- Its Auto Immune Disorder resulting in patchy hair loss.
4. TRICHOTILLOMANIA:- Caused by pulling, plucking, twisting or rubbing hair. Hair loss is patchy and characterised by broken hairs of varying length. Triggered by anxiety . Counselling is helpful to deal with stress which triggers this habit.
5. TRACTIONAL ALOPECIA
6. TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM:- High Fever / post surgery/ severe injury/some medicines interrupt normal cycle of hair growth. The Hair follicles stop growing prematurely and resting phase .
7. NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES – IRON, VITAMIN B12 , CALCIUM , BOITIN ETC
8. ENDOCRINE PROBLEMS :- Hypothyroidism
9. SEBORRHOEIC DERMATITIS AND DANDRUFF(PITYRIASIS CAPITIS)
1. NEW BORN HAIRLOSS :- New born babies lose hairs in first few months , where baby hairs are replaced by permanent hairs
2. FRICTIONAL HAIRLOSS :- Between the age of 3-6 months, many babies develop bald spots on the back of the scalp due to friction from Crib Mattress. Avoiding friction will grow the hair back
3. HAIR ABUSE:- Vigorous brushing and pulling of the hairs can cause hair loss.