When Aria was eight years old, she started losing her hair. As with most children who have alopecia, it started with a small bald patch below her ponytail, and slowly spread until she was completely bald. As a young child, she sometimes found it difficult to deal with the children who made fun of her and the adults who stared at her with sympathetic eyes. If you are the parent of a child living with alopecia, Aria's experience may sound familiar. If you're a parent whose child’s hair is falling out, you may be worried and wondering if it could be the result of alopecia. Even though it can be scary and difficult to see your child losing his or her hair, there are resources available for parents and children living with this disease. Below we address some of the common questions parents ask about children and hair loss.
What causes hair loss in children?
If your child is losing his or her hair, it could be the result of an allergy, stress or it may be alopecia areata, a non-life threatening autoimmune disease that affects about 3% of American children.
What is alopecia areata?
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the hair follicles. The disease does not cause any physical pain. However, it can be an emotionally challenging disease for a child to live with, especially because it makes a huge impact on a child’s physical appearance, and can affect his or her self-esteem.
What is the first sign of alopecia?
You may notice small round or oval bald patches on your child's head. These patches will be smooth in nature. We recommend that if you are noticing bald patches, that you take your child to a medical provider or hair loss specialist for an evaluation.
Is alopecia contagious?
No. Alopecia is not at all contagious.
Can alopecia be cured?
At this time, there is not a 'cure' for alopecia however, there are treatment options available to help managed the disease. For example some children may benefit from corticosteroid ointments while some teens may benefit from steroid injections. In some cases Rogaine may also be used in addition to the injections.
How soon after treatment will my child’s hair start growing back?
Hair may grow back within 8-12 weeks, although hair regrowth can be unpredictable. Unfortunately, even if your child’s hair grows back, it may fall out again in the future.
What resources are available to help parents and children living with hair loss?
The Children’s Alopecia Project (CAP), was created specifically to “To help any child in need who is living with hair loss due to all forms of alopecia.” The program lists local groups throughout the US. To find group in your area click here. HeadzUp is a UK based website for kids and teenagers experiencing alopecia. This site includes stories of kids and teenagers living with alopecia, provides a place for them to connect with other kids, and highlights successful adults with the disease as well. The National Alopecia Areata Foundationhas a lot of resources for people living with alopecia and includes a calendar of events that are happening throughout the U.S. Parents and kids can find information on the disease as well as products for alopecia patients.
As part of National Hair Loss Awareness Month, we encourage you to find out more about male hair loss, female hair loss and the many treatment options currently available. If you are concerned the amount of hair loss you’re experiencing, talking to a hair loss specialist or your medical provider is recommended. To learn more about treating hair loss and regrowth treatment options or to consult with a Capillus specialist in your area click here or call Capillus for more information at (786) 888 6249 or Toll-Free at 1 (888) 272-9599.