Understanding Alopecia in Children

While most patients are well-aware of the signs of aging, including hair loss, they are often surprised to see their child experience hair loss and thinning. A young child’s hair loss may come as a surprise, but is not uncommon. Adult thinning and baldness may be caused by something different than a child’s experience. In most cases, children who lose their hair are often dealing with a scalp disorder.  When children are experiencing hair loss, it is important to have them seen by a doctor to determine the cause and provide treatment for their emotional well-being.

What causes hair loss in children?

There are several reasons why a child may experience alopecia, or hair loss. Some of the more common causes of hair loss and thinning include:

  • Tinea capitis
  • Alopecia areata
  • Trichotillomania
  • Telogen effluvium
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Chemotherapy

Additionally, there are some non-medical causes of hair thinning and loss, including:

  • Newborn hair loss
  • Friction hair loss
  • Chemical use
  • Tight hair ties
  • Heat from blow-drying

What treatment options are available for alopecia in children?

To determine the best treatment option, it is important that a doctor find the cause of the hair thinning and loss. Non-medical hair loss can be addressed by avoiding chemicals, hair ties, and blow-drying. However, medical conditions may require the use of medications or light therapies to address hair thinning and loss. With a proper diagnosis, parents can work with the team at The Menkes Clinic to determine the best possible treatment for their child.

What happens if the hair thinning and loss cannot be treated?

In situations where the hair thinning and loss is permanent, parents can work with their child to find ways to help them cope with their condition. This may include cutting the hair or finding a different hairstyle that can disguise the hair loss. Children with more severe hair loss may also want to consider the use of a wig to help them feel more comfortable in social situations.

Call The Menkes Clinic to learn more today

Our doctors in Mountain View, CA provide a wide selection of services, including medical, surgical, cosmetic, and pediatric dermatology. If you reside in or around the community, our team welcomes you to book an appointment with our team by calling (650) 962-4600 and visiting the office at 2490 Hospital Drive, Suite 201.

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