Hair loss in your child: compulsive, local or generalized baldness

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Suddenly you find a lot of loose hair on your child's pillow. Or frightened by a large tuft of hair that you fish out of your comb after brushing. Why does your child suffer from Hair Loss?

Many children have hair loss only for a short time. The cause is often unknown. After a certain time the loss stops by itself. A varied diet with vitamins and minerals often makes the hair healthier and stronger. Eggs, milk, soya products and nuts are examples of "hair food".
Hair and scalp problems in children?

These anomalies occur in children:

A local form of baldness in which small but sometimes very large bald patches appear. A medical term for this form is Alopecia areata. It is possible that the bald areas will grow back hair later, but this can take years. Alopecia areata is often seen in children with Down syndrome. This form of baldness is considered an autoimmune disease.

General baldness. There is not a single localized spot on the head. Parents find many hairs on the pillow or pluck many loose hairs from the head while combing. The cause is unknown, but it is possible that viruses play a role. After some time the fallout stops spontaneously. Often there is no repetition of the general baldness, and it is not connected to other causes.

In ectodermal dysplasia syndrome there are anomalies of the teeth in addition to baldness. This syndrome is not very common. The extent to which the syndrome manifests itself varies from child to child.

When Skin fungus is on the hairy scalp, this can lead to hair loss.

Hair loss due to Head lice.

Hair loss by pulling out the hair. Hair that is twisted and torn out breaks. If this happens frequently and over a long period of time, bald spots on the head. This occurs especially in children with compulsive behaviour. Another name for hair removal is trichotillomania. If the hair is also eaten, a hairball can form in the stomach.

Pili torti (twisted hair) is not a hair disease, but a corkscrew shape in the hair. Due to a special refraction of light in the hair it gets a strange blonde colour. The hair resembles coarse doll's hair, stands everywhere and is not easy to comb. Pili torti can occur in isolation, e.g. in anorexia nervosa, but also in connection with a syndrome, e.g. Menke's disease or ectodermal dysplasia. After puberty, the hair anomalies may improve spontaneously.

Cystostatic drugsThese are drugs that inhibit the division of (tumor) cells and cause general hair loss. This drug is used to treat cancer.

Diagnosis

When a dermatologist puts a fallen hair under the microscope, he can see what is going on. Alopecia areata, the local form of baldness, looks different from compulsively pulled out hair. When hair is pulled out, there are also broken hairpieces.

Treatment

The treatment depends entirely on the cause. There is no medication for baldness caused by Alopecia areata. Fungal infections are treated with the usual therapy. This is often successful. In the case of pulled out hair it is sometimes necessary to consult a child psychologist.

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