Alopecia is thought to be a problem that occurs only in adults, but in fact, children can also suffer from alopecia. Alopecia in children can be traumatic to the mind that is not yet mentally ready. It is also shocking to parents who witness it.
Causes of alopecia that occur in children
The cause can be due to “stress” or “autoimmune disease”. In today’s society, there is no stress-free environment. Children are no exception, and small daily stresses can accumulate and cause alopecia. Hormones that promote hair growth are influenced by mental health. For children whose mental faculties are still weak, stress can easily affect hair loss.
It is also more likely to occur in children with autoimmune diseases (e.g., atopic conditions). This is caused by an overreaction of lymphocytes to hair-producing cells. Since the cause that triggers the onset of the disease has not been identified, detection is often delayed.
There are three types of circular alopecia, all of which cause circular alopecia.
Single pattern → One or two areas fall out partially (rarely develops into multiple patterns). (Rarely, it develops into multiple patches.) ・Multiple patches → several patches fall out all over the body.
Multiple types → several areas fall out in general. （Multiple Alopecia → Several hairs fall out all over the body.)
Alopecia totalis → multiple pattern progresses and hair falls out widely over the entire area. （Alopecia areata totalis: Alopecia areata progresses to a more generalized form, in which hair falls out over the entire body, including the eyebrows.)
Alopecia areata can be broadly classified into two types.
The single alopecia often resolves spontaneously, so there is no need to worry about it (most cases resolve within a year). Alopecia areata variegata and alopecia totalis require long-term treatment, so please consult a dermatologist as soon as possible.
*Do not neglect multiple and total alopecia. Just as muscles deteriorate when you do not exercise, hair cells will forget how to make hair if you do not make hair, and hair will never grow back.
Measures to prevent alopecia that occurs in children
First, take a good look at your child’s hair. Just looking at it will not tell you if it has fallen out, so check the pillow. If he has alopecia, there should be a lot of hair falling out on the pillow, and it should be increasing every day. If you suspect this, check your scalp immediately.
Above all, early detection is the best countermeasure, and treatment can be started at an early stage, which will greatly increase the chances of recovery.
Next, we will provide good psychological support. When the scalp starts to fall out, the child will be shocked. Parents should not be pessimistic, but should act cheerful and energetic to cheer up the child. If the child falls into negative thinking, the hair loss will worsen.
Then, make sure to prepare a well-balanced diet so that the hair cells receive plenty of nutrients. Vitamins A and C contained in fruits and green vegetables have a tranquilizing effect, and calcium, vitamins D and E have an anti-stress effect. Protein (amino acids) and minerals are important to keep hair cells active.
Adequate sleep is also an important measure. Since the mental aspect is weakened by alopecia, getting a good night’s sleep is the key. Please ease the child’s anxiety and support him or her to get a good night’s sleep.
Rather than taking care of the child themselves, parental support is directly related to the measures to be taken. Of course, treatment from a dermatologist is a good idea, but it is not the only way to recover.
A parent’s concern for the child will surely stabilize the child’s mind and provide an opportunity for recovery. Families suffering from alopecia should work together as parents and children to achieve recovery.