If you evaluate the attitude of adults towards alopecia, you’ll realize that while some are concerned about finding a solution, others don’t even care about it. Although everyone has the right to do whatever they want, this maxim shouldn’t apply to alopecia in juveniles. Once the condition is identified, parents are required to find treatments immediately.
Although finding treatment for alopecia in juveniles is as difficult as finding a treatment for adults, if it’s prioritized and the right tips are observed, you can help your child overcome alopecia. After all, you can’t afford to allow your child to go through the physical and psychological stress of this hair loss condition. So it would help to start by visiting a dermatologist for professional help.
If that’s the intention, but you want to learn some things about alopecia in juveniles, you’re at the right place. This post focuses on the causes of alopecia to submit some effective ways of stopping it in children. So please read carefully to find out important details about the condition.
Five Notable Causes of Alopecia in Juveniles
These are the common causes of alopecia in juveniles:
1. Tinea Capitis
Tinea capitis is the most dominant cause of alopecia in children. It’s a fungal infection that can attack the hair follicles and shafts, making them inactive in hair production. It is called a scalp ringworm due to its round or oval shape on the head.
Given that this infection is highly contagious, it’s become one of the fastest-growing conditions in the US and worldwide. Some of its symptoms include round bald patches with black dots, redness, baldness, pain and tenderness around the infected part, etc.
2. Traction Alopecia
Traction alopecia is alopecia caused by excessive tension on the hair through hairstyles like a ponytail, braiding, hair rolling, weaving, and cornrows, among many others. It is also caused by wearing tight headgears like helmets, scarves, etc., on the head. It is identified as a frontotemporal hair loss that has no definite pattern.
So if you’re the type of parent that chooses tight hairstyles with so much tension on the hair follicles, you may have brought alopecia on your child without knowing.
3. Telogen Effluvium
Telogen effluvium is another cause of alopecia triggered by stress, nutritional deficiency, medical illness, loss of old one, certain medication, and many others. It occurs when stress levels are reached and stress hormones attack hair follicles. As children find it difficult to manage stress, it has become a notable cause of alopecia among them.
The hair sheds for a specific time frame, and even though it is expected to regrow, it may not start as soon as you imagined. Instead, the shedding may take longer, and recovering your child’s hair density will also take time.
Trichotillomania is a condition causing alopecia in children, which is characterized by an impulsive urge to pull out their hair subconsciously. Although it’s rare among children, it’s a notable cause brought about by psychological issues. It happens in male and female children but is more common among females.
5. Alopecia Areata
While androgenetic alopecia is popular among adults, alopecia areata is the common cause of alopecia in children. It’s an autoimmune activity where the body’s immune system attacks hair growth cells and hair follicles.
Effective Ways of Stopping Alopecia in Juveniles
There’s no cure for alopecia, but the good news is that there are various treatment options you can explore to restore lost hair. These treatments include the following:
1. Steroids Injection
Steroid injection, commonly known as corticosteroid shots, is a treatment option for alopecia caused by the immune system’s attacks on hair follicles. Its function is to counteract these attacks or stop the immune system from harming hair follicles. It’s effective for treating arrays of alopecia from alopecia areata to lupus, lichen planus, etc.
The treatment is considered very potent for those looking to get desired results four months after the injection. But the patient must get the injection at least three times in two weeks. They don’t cure alopecia in children, but they temporarily halt all the patches appearing on the head.
2. Topical Immunotherapy
Topical immunotherapy is one of the foremost treatments juveniles are offered for alopecia. This is because it offers so much safety and efficacy simultaneously, especially for children exhibiting symptoms of alopecia areata. In addition, it’s proven to be one of the long-term treatments for alopecia.
It essentially involves the application of chemicals like diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP), squaric acid dibutyl ester, and dinitrochlorobenzene on the balding spot to trigger an allergic reaction that balances activities of the immune system and stimulates hair growth.
3. Oral Corticosteroids
Oral corticosteroids are another treatment option in the form of pills in tablets you can give your children to treat alopecia. You can use it alongside other topical ointments to have holistic hair improvements. Its function is to reduce inflammation-causing the immune system to attack the follicles.
Once this attack is repelled, hair growth may begin in a few months after consistent use. In addition, this pill requires a doctor’s prescription to moderate its side effects since it’s administered to children. Although they serve other purposes, you must use these treatments per the doctor’s advice to derive the benefits of treating alopecia.
When to Contact the Doctor
Every treatment for alopecia in juveniles must be done based on the supervision of a dermatologist. However, suppose this condition is met and persists. In that case, you may need to take your child to the doctor for proper medical evaluation to determine if alopecia in your child isn’t caused by an underlying ailment you’re yet to discover. The doctor can also help suggest other effective ways of dealing with alopecia in case your child has no underlying illness.
Alopecia in juveniles requires urgent attention as much as it does in adults. So once you notice it on your child, visit a dermatologist immediately. You can ask about some of the treatments suggested in this post to determine which will be best for your child.