Posted on: February 7th, 2017 by Dr Yates

Can Children Experience Hair Loss?

It is a fact that most men and women will experience some degree of hair loss at some point in their life, but when children start to experience severe hair loss, it is a sign that something is not quite right. Usually, if a child is experiencing hair loss it is either a symptom of a medical condition or it can be an indication that the child is experiencing some emotional strain. Below are the most common causes of hair loss in children:
Tinea capitis

Tinea capitis is the most common cause of hair loss for children. It is a type of ringworm that attacks the hair and it also causes lesions to develop on the scalp. This is a highly contagious fungal infection that children can contract. The treatment for tinea capitis will be determined by a doctor and will depend on the species of the fungus, the degree of inflammation and for some patients, by the immunologic and nutritional status of the patient.
Trichotillomania

Unfortunately, some children can suffer from severe emotional strain, which can cause them to start pulling out their hair as a form of self-abuse. Whether they are experiencing hardships at home or at school, some children use hair pulling as a way to deal with the problems. If your child is suffering from hair loss, you should look to see where the thinning areas are on the head. If they are mostly on the child’s dominant side, it may be an indication that they are pulling the hair out themselves. You may also want to stop and think about any major stresses that your child may be dealing with and see if there are any ways to alleviate those stresses.
Alopecia areata

The belief is that alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition, which means the immune system in the body will start to attack itself. This can cause hair follicles to fall out. It is usually noticeable if the hair loss is caused by alopecia areata because the hair loss will happen suddenly and the hair loss will be in round or oval patches which are usually very smooth.
Although alopecia areata cannot be cured, patients can manage the condition with a few different treatment options. If your child is suffering from alopecia areata, you should speak to a hair loss physician to see what your best options are for treatment.
Telogen effluvium

The scientific name for when your hair is in its resting phase of the hair growth cycle is telogen. Telogen effluvium is a condition in which more of your hair roots are pushed prematurely into the resting phase. For most children, only 10-15% of hair will be in the resting phase at any given time, but children who suffer from this condition may have all of their hairs in the resting phase at once. This can cause a time where they will be completely bald. Telogen effluvium is usually caused by a stressful event and once the stress is over, full hair growth will generally occur between 6 months to one year.

If you would like to learn more about what hair loss treatments would be a good solution for you, you can contact the experienced hair loss physician, Dr. Yates.