Understanding Child Hair Loss

Childhood medical conditions can lead to possible hair loss.

Many people think of hair loss as something that affects older men, but the truth is that anyone can lose their hair. While it can be devastating for men, social expectations can make it even more devastating for women and children. For a child, losing hair can cause them to feel like an outcast. Hair loss in children is also associated with traumatic conditions like cancer. According to the American Hair Loss Association (AHLA), about 3 percent of visits to pediatric doctors involve child hair loss.

RHRLI Are Hair Loss Experts

At RHRLI, we’re interested in all types of hair loss and we also offer the best permanent solution you can find for hair loss or thinning hair, it’s called the ARTAS® system and it uses robotic technology to transplant healthy hair where it’s needed. We want our patients to be educated about all types of hair loss.  While we normally wouldn’t recommend a hair transplant for minors, underage patients should not receive the procedure without the permission of a parent or guardian. But as hair loss experts, RHRLI wants to give you important information about children and hair loss.

Causes of Hair Loss for Children

There are several factors that often cause children to lose their hair according to WebMD. They include:

  • Tinea capitis: More commonly known as ringworm of the scalp, it is a fungal infection that often strikes children causing patches of hair loss. Hair often breaks off at the surface of the skin and leaves the appearance of little black dots. It can be treated with anti-fungal medications and shampoos.
  • Alopecia areata: This is a condition believed to be caused by the body’s immune system attacking hair follicles. It also strikes adults and the process leaves round or oval hair patches. There is no cure, but most patients grow their hair back within a year, although they may lose it again. About 5 percent of patients lose hair permanently.
  • Trichotillomania: This is a type of hair loss that’s caused by children pulling or plucking their hair out. It can be triggered by stress or anxiety and counseling can help control this condition.
  • Telogen effluvium: This is a condition that’s caused by a sudden severe event or stress such as a high fever, surgery or a traumatic event. These events interrupt the hair growth cycle. Hair usually grows back in about 6 months to a year, but there’s no known treatment
  • Nutritional Deficiency: Sometimes a loss of nutrients such as biotin, B complex vitamins or zinc can cause hair loss.
  • Endocrine issues: Conditions such as hypothyroidism, which is an under-active thyroid, can cause hair loss. The condition can by helped by medication to replace deficient hormones.

Children, Cancer and Hair Loss

Finally, treatment for diseases such as cancer can cause hair loss. According to AHLA, hair loss usually begins a few weeks after the first couple of chemotherapy treatments. Children often wear wigs when this happens.  It’s advised to get a prescription for wigs because insurance might pay for it. The wig will likely need styling before being ready to wear. It’s also a good idea to alert your child’s teacher that he or she will be losing hair.

RHRLI is Long Island’s Only Treatment Center With ARTAS

At RHRLI, we know hair loss can be traumatic for anyone, particularly children, but we also know that most conditions that cause hair loss for kids go away after a while and are treatable. For victims of permanent hair loss, RHRLI is the only hair loss treatment center on Long Island that has the ARTAS® system. See the difference ARTAS® makes. Contact RHRLI today.

Please note that the author of this piece is not a doctor and the information in this material is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your doctor or medical professional for specific information regarding your individual situation.

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