Alopecia in children: causes and methods of treatment
Hair diseases in childhood occur infrequently, but require careful attention and proper therapy. The alopecia is considered to be the most unpleasant ailment - thinning and hair loss up to complete baldness.
What it is?
Alopecia in children is not as common as in adults, but this does not diminish its value. To this day, pediatricians, skin doctors, endocrinologists, neurologists and gastroenterologists together try to understand why and how hair loss occurs at a tender age. Alopecia belongs to the category of chronic dermatosis, it suffers from hair follicles-bulbs, and therefore the hair becomes thinner, broken and falls out in places where nature provides for their natural growth - on the head, on the eyebrows, cilia.
If we take the word "alopecia" into its derivatives, we get Greek (λωπεκ α) and Latin alopecia. Both mean “baldness”, “baldness”, which fully reflects the essence of the disease.
With alopecia, the hair that exists is not only thinning and falling out, but the formation and growth of new hair rods is also disturbed. at the site of damage. The prevalence of the disease, according to WHO, at a tender age is small - no more than 2.5-3%.
Why does it occur at different ages?
The loss of hair by children does not always have the same prerequisites as that of mature people, and this is the main difference between the age alopecia and the childish version.
If adults in the first place are the causes of hormonal properties, then in the toadstool, the traumatic effect on the hair follicles is usually considered the root cause of such a pathology. This effect itself is exogenous or endogenous.
Infrequently, but sometimes doctors meet with cases of hereditary baldness or total loss of hair, while age does not play a big role here. Most often in children 2-3 years old, 5 years old and older, the root cause is a violation of the ratio of important elements. Usually such alopecia is closely interrelated with the diseases of the stomach, pancreas, liver, gall bladder, intestines. For example, a child with gastritis or gastroduodenitis and at 3 years, and at 7 years, the risk of baldness is higher than that of healthy peers, almost 4 times. Often the child begins to go bald against the background of a tendency to constipation, as well as with intestinal dysbiosis or the presence of intestinal parasites - helminths.
Hair follicles suffer from a lack of copper and selenium, zinc and chromium, as well as a shortage of molybdenum and folic acid. Lack of B vitamins is also often a prerequisite for the destruction of hair follicles.
Another common root cause of the loss of hairline by children is the propensity for allergies. Any impairment of immunity (and allergy refers to such conditions), can trigger the process of progressive hair loss. Many cases of alopecia have been reported in the presence of atomic dermatitis or vitiligo in a child.
Also, the development of alopecia on the “nervous soil” is not excluded - severe stressfor example, parents divorce, moving to a new place of residence, psychological trauma, the start of school visits at 6-7 years old, the first love personal experiences of a girl in an emotionally difficult period of maturation or in a teenage boy at the stage of rampant sex hormones are quite capable of becoming the beginning of a pathological the process of losing hair.
Kids absolutely any age category Alopecia can be the result of burn injuries, injured hair. If a girl carefully weaves too tight braids, then by the age of 8-10 a mechanical thinning of the hair shaft may well develop.
In both boys and young women, iron deficiency anemia may be the root cause of hair loss. Starting hair loss can be caused by contact with radioactive radiation, severe severe flu, especially complicated by pneumonia, and chickenpox.
Children are born bald by nature rarely - genetic forms of alopecia are of little distribution, they are more likely isolated cases. Such children usually have concomitant congenital abnormalities - endocrine, dermatological. In this situation, the hair bulbs on the entire head or partially simply undeveloped, are absent. Accordingly, hair growth does not seem real in principle.
Children up to the age of one year have natural baldness for physiological reasons, which is not a reason for unrest. and experiences with mom and dad, and who absolutely does not need any therapy. It is manifested by hair loss in the pericheral region, on the back of the head. It is believed that this occurs from mechanical friction of the baby’s head against a pillow or diaper. Recent studies, however, showed a curious fact: wiped hairs on the back of the head and those babies who sleep only on the side or only on the stomach. Such a mechanism, according to scientists' assumptions, is connected with internal restructuring after birth (just as the young animals “shed” the infant undercoat and acquire permanent fur).
As already mentioned, there is no need to treat such alopecia - the hair begins to grow by itself, without interference from parents and physicians.
There are two most common types of alopecia in childhood - focal and atrophy.
- The first is another name - the breeding (breeding). It is manifested by the formation of areas of oval baldness, but more often of a rounded shape.
- Atrophic Alopecia also manifested by foci, but only they can merge and form large areas. They usually begin with the parietal region and are very similar in shape to the flames.
During puberty, young men and women may develop seborrheic alopecia, interrelated with the excessive functioning of the sweat and sebaceous glands, which is accompanied by increased production of sex hormones in the body.
The total diffuse phase of the disease, in which hair loss is swift and widespread over the entire area of the head, is less common than in people who have reached mature or old age. It is usually associated with hormonal imbalances, stresses, disruptions in the functioning of the thyroid gland. The hair follicles at the same time simply go to the “rest” stage, and the growth of new hair trunks at the site of the fallen out ends. Long-term treatment with antibiotics, antidepressants can provoke this type of baldness.. Often, total baldness occurs in babies whose parents “keep” on diets with a deficiency of trace elements - for example, children growing up in vegan families.
If the child has injured the head, cut the skin of the scalp, and burned them, then so-called cicatricial alopecia can form. After the wound has healed, connective tissue is formed in which the hair follicles develop and cannot exist. This type of alopecia occurs in children who have suffered severe infectious diseases with the formation of ulcers on the head, for example.
In children who suffer from cancer and undergo a course of chemotherapy for the treatment of severe illness, specific alopecia often develops. Children go bald because the drugs used for chemotherapy infect the hair cells themselves from the moment of their division. After treatment, hair growth usually resumes.
Symptoms and signs of pathology depend on what causes hair loss, and to what classification group can alopecia be attributed.The symptoms, in fact, set the definition of the type and the choice of treatment tactics.
Insofar as in children the most common is nesting (focal) alopecia, it should start with her. This form rarely develops in children under three years old, usually children from 3 years and older complain about it. At first a bald spot appears on the head. The focus may be one, or there may be several. Lots of baldness have clearly defined boundaries, the size of the focus can be very different - from the size of a coin to the width of the palm. Individual foci may expand in size, merge with neighboring ones. When nesting form often begin to go bald and eyebrows.
The skin in places where the hair fell out at the focal form of the disease, does not change in color and appearance, there is no flaking, redness. But at the edges of the hearth hair thin, easily break off. Often become brittle and nail plate. Total baldness becomes with the defeat of the head by 70 percent or more and the fusion of individual foci into one.
This form is treatable in the early stages, then only in surgical treatment.
If a child has atrophy alopecia, this is manifested by foci.having the characteristic shape of the flames. The skin in places where the hair is climbing is changed - they are smooth, unhealthy shine, they never peel off, do not blush or become inflamed. It may seem that the hairs of the offspring fell out in clumps - in the middle of the "tongue" a fragment of hair growth may remain, separate bunches.
Restore normal hair growth in this form of alopecia is impossible, but you can stop the dynamics of hair loss, if you consult a doctor in time.
Seborrheic loss of hair in adolescents is preceded by a very characteristic symptom - increased fat content of hair. Even if the child washes his head regularly, the hair is strongly salted, crusts and scales are gradually formed at the hair roots. The head itches, the child may complain of itching. Losing hair with seborrhea does not begin immediately. At first, hair thinning starts, then a bald patch is formed in the direction from the frontal to the occipital part. Grow hair without changes usually continue only at the temples and the lower part of the neck. The top of the head usually bald completely.
If a baby has a bald spot, the mother notices that her hair falls out when combing, should not hesitate to contact the pediatrician. To begin with a visit to the pediatrician in the clinic. Be prepared for the fact that the pediatrician will immediately give directions for consultation with other specialists - A child’s dermatologist, a trichologist (a hair health specialist), a gastroenterologist (to identify possible problems with the work of the gastrointestinal tract, parasites), an endocrinologist and a children's neurologist will be required to examine the child..
In some cases, when a comprehensive examination does not show any abnormalities, a visit to a child psychotherapist is recommended to rule out the psychogenic and psychosomatic causes of a sudden loss of hair.
Be sure to conduct a study of the feces on the composition of the intestinal microflora, eggplot. An ultrasound scan of the abdominal cavity, gastroscopy. A blood test is made for the concentration of thyroid hormones (thyroid), an ultrasound of the thyroid is performed, and the calcium level is monitored according to the results of a biochemical laboratory blood test.
The hairs themselves are taken for spectral analysis - it helps to establish the ratio in the body of certain trace elements necessary for normal growth of the hair shaft. A trichologist makes a trichogram, conducts a study of the scalp. If nothing is detected, and baldness develops, then a biopsy of the scalp is done.
Children often recommend reoencephalography. This examination makes it possible to exclude possible problems with the blood supply to the scalp.
How to treat?
To select a method of therapy the cause of balding is importantThat is why it is important to pay close attention to the diagnosis. The treatment is always quite long, parents need to be patient. Whatever unpleasant symptoms are associated with, the child is recommended treatment aimed at the general strengthening of the body - This is the reception of immunomodulators and vitamins. Pantothenic acid and methionine are often recommended. Hormones are prescribed only to children with total baldness.
Good results in the focal form of the disease show physiotherapy with ultraviolet irradiation of the affected lesions. Before this, the bald patches are smeared with a special compound with a photosensitizing property. In some cases, an ointment based on prednisone, emulsion and tincture is recommended.
If the baby is bald after a scalp injury, the tinctures and emulsions will have no effect. In this case, surgical treatment is recommended - transplantation of healthy hair follicles, this operation is often called simply “hair transplant” by the people.
In addition to local treatment, they are treating the disease that led to baldness. - in case of anemia, iron preparations are prescribed, in case of stomach ailments - appropriate treatment is given by a gastroenterologist.
Especially pediatricians point out the need for psychological help and support. - The child in most cases requires the help of a psychologist throughout the course of treatment.
Alopecia forms a sense of inferiority in children, it is considered by them as an obstacle in communication with other children, children are embarrassed, withdraw into themselves. That is why it is important to support the child in time and correctly.
Folk remedies in the fight against baldness are used a variety of reviews about them, too different - something, according to parents, helped, something - no.
Nevertheless, we will talk about the most common methods of treating alopecia for children with non-traditional means.
- Onion applications. They need to do once a day, but every day. Onions are peeled and minced. The resulting onion gruel is mixed with a raw egg and applied to the centers of hair loss for 15 minutes, easily rubbing the odorous mass into the skin with your fingertips. After a quarter of an hour the mixture is washed off. The treatment is continued until the light, yet not pigmented hair begins to grow.
- Garlic and pepper applications. In this case, prepare a slurry of garlic and red pepper with the addition of olive oil. Be careful - the mixture may be allergenic, it is better not to use it for children under 7 years old.
- Castor oil or burdock oil. These two oils have a unique effect on hair growth. You should not mix them, choose one. On a spoonful of butter take half a spoonful of mustard powder. The mixture is applied to the pockets of hair loss for 20 minutes. The local irritating effect of mustard is considered a good stimulator of hair growth.
Mask do 2 times a week, after each important to thoroughly wash your hair.
- Burdock and calamus. For daily rubbing into the scalp prepare a decoction, the main ingredients for which are rhizome of burdock and calamus roots. They are boiled for 15 minutes, cooled, and the scalp is treated 1-2 times a day with this mixture.
- Yolk mask for the head. Several times a week, parents can prepare the child a healing mask of egg yolks. To do this, the yolks are separated from proteins, frayed with a fork to whiteness and applied to the centers of baldness for an hour. You can add warm olive oil to the mixture.
It is important to wrap your head with a warm towel during the procedure, and then wash off the yolk mass with warm water without the use of detergents.
Remember that herbal remedies can harm and worsen the condition of the child, and therefore be sure to consult about the possibility of using traditional medicine recipes for treating a child with his doctor.And also you should not rely too much on traditional medicine and refuse traditional treatment in favor of non-traditional.
Folk methods are sometimes good, but only in combination with a multi-level medication and physiotherapy treatment prescribed by a doctor.
Forecasts and Prevention
Forecasts for child hair loss are more favorable than for adults who have lost hair. Often within a year the hair is restored by itself, without treatment, in general. But in many ways, the age of the chad influences the prediction: the younger the child was at the time of total baldness, the less favorable the predictions in this case.
A more accurate predictions can give the doctor after the survey.
Great attention should be paid to parents and caregivers to prevention. In many ways, the benefit is a systematic medical examination. Regular medical examinations allow time to identify children who are experiencing problems with digestion, the work of thyroid.
Balanced and proper nutrition, saturated with everything necessary for proper metabolism and metabolism, will help protect your child from baldness. Boys need time to cut, and girls should not weave too tight pigtails that violate the blood circulation layers of the skin of the head.
If a child has weak, thin and vulnerable hair from birth, it is important to wash them not too often: shampooing twice a week is considered optimal. More frequent washing leads to disruption of the scalp, to disruption of the sebaceous glands. It is important to promptly and correctly treat digestive disorders, constipation.
You will learn more about the causes of alopecia and its treatment in the next video.