When we talk of hair loss children we refer to that which is lost in excess of the norm. A normal hair shedding in a healthy adult should be approx. 100 hairs per day. The hair cycle in healthy human is on average 5-7 years. Therefore we must allow a reasonable period of time for the hair to grow in children and establish a hair growth routine. Therefore the amount of hair loss children should be somewhat less that an adult in early years.
If you as the parent notice a change in the thickness of the hair then advice should be sought at the earliest opportunity. The following conditions with brief outline are the most common causes of hair loss children.
Ringworm – Tinea Capitis (ringworm) – Tinea referring to “ringworm” and capitas referring to the scalp region, this is a fungal infection of varied severity. Symptoms may include scaling, irritation, a circular patch with an inflamed border and hair breakage. Hair loss children is usually temporary. There are other symptoms which are explained next. There are two types of infection:
Endothrix – The more severe of the two types of fungal attack. This time the hair follicle is attacked by the ringworm spores resulting in the skin becoming inflamed and hairloss usually results.
Ectothrix – ringworm spores attack the hairshaft itself causing it to break at skin level leaving a characteristic black dot on the skin. The black dot represents the broken hair point, which often appears like stubble. Irritation may well accompany this form of ringworm as well as scaling.
Kerion – Occasionally a kerion will form as part of a ringworm infection. A kerion is a blister type formation in some cases of considerable size which forms due to the build up of ringworm spore bacteria in the hair follicle. These are often uncomfortable and will require medical attention as soon as possible.
Children aged 3-10 years are more susceptible. This is a highly contagious condition that will transmit through touch alone. Care in schools should be taken with coats and hats making sure your child does not allow other children to wear them. The sharing of brushes and combs, pillows and bath towels are other causes of transfer. Hair loss children in likely to occur.
Alopecia Areata – Alopecia Areata is a highly unpredictable autoimmune skin disease that causes hair loss children. It presents as circular patches at various regions of the scalp. The patches tend to be the size of a fifty pence piece, however the size can vary. Where two or more patches form, they may join causing one large patch. If any patches appear on the scalp, professional advice should be sought at the earliest opportunity. Alopecia may regrow in time without the need for treatment, however treatment may assist to speed up the recovery process.
Alopecia Areata may lead to Alopecia Totalis (total loss of scalp hair), Alopecia Universalis (total loss of body hair).
Alopecia Ophiasis – also known as serpentine (snake like) presenting hair loss in a snake like formation often affecting the occiput. Hair loss travels around the base of the scalp and is considered one of the more difficult conditions to treat.
Traction Alopecia – Hair loss children resulting from certain hair styling techniques especially affecting afro hair. Examples of hair styles that may lead to traction hairloss include: cane rows, plaits, tight ponytails and the most common cause being hair extension. Hair extensions add a huge weight to the existing hair resulting in almost certain epilation in time. Hair may regrow however, traction hair loss children will eventually lead to permanent hair loss. Treatment may be administered in certain cases.
Trichotillomania – The pulling out of one’s hair. There are many theories that suggest that this is a psychological condition, however attention seeking of often the case. Symptoms include: total loss of telogen hair (hair in the resting phase), leaving short stubble which is too short for the child to pull. Localised regions of hairloss often found in regions easily assessable to the child. Like traction hairloss, the hair will regrow, but failure to stop the pulling with result in permanent hair loss.
Trichokryptomania – A form of epilation resulting from the twisting on ones hair. Often forms a habit which results is hair breakage.
There are many more hair loss children conditions. Many are listed on this site. The search field may assist.