Is your toddler losing hair on his head? If yes then your toddler might be suffering from a condition known as alopecia areata. Continue to read the article below to know more about this condition.
About Alopecia Areata:
Alopecia areata is medical condition that causes hair loss. It is a very common type of hair loss problem that affects adults and children across all age groups. The distinct sign of alopecia areata is that hair loss occurs in round patches. It is not contagious but can progress to become alopecia totalis – a serious form of condition where scalp loses all hair (1).
[ Read: Causes Of Hair Loss In Toddlers ]
Cause Of Alopecia Areata In Toddlers:
Alopecia areata occurs due to malfunctioning of the immune system. It means that immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles. The whole process makes the follicles weak and causes it to release hair from its grip. In most cases, the damage is not permanent. Often, it is not a cause of worry when your toddlers suffer from alopecia areata as follicles become healthy again and hair growth resumes.
But there is no pattern here and it can differ from patient to patient. Therefore, when your toddler begins to lose hair, it is a good idea to consult a doctor for the correct diagnosis of the condition. Usually the doctors can diagnose alopecia areata based on the symptoms alone. But they may run some tests if they suspect the immune system might have affected other organs as well. The condition may be genetic also. But even if both parents suffer from alopecia areata, it is not certain that the child will inherit it (2).
Endocrine problems such as hypothyroidism can also trigger hair loss. It is condition where the thyroid gland is not able to produce sufficient thyroid hormone needed for optimum metabolism of the body. Depending on your child’s age, medical history and requirement, the doctor may address the issues with medications that help with thyroid problems.
[ Read: Symptoms Of Croup In Toddlers ]
Treatment Of Alopecia Areata In Toddlers:
For toddlers, doctors may suggest creams or ointments to use on the scalp. Adults and teens may also use steroid injections to promote hair growth. But these are not recommended for younger kids (3). But in most cases, the doctor may not prescribe any medicines for toddlers suffering from alopecia areata. Often, the hair grows back within months and toddlers may not need any treatment for hair loss. Depending on the severity of the condition in a child the doctor may suggest a course of treatment.
Even if your toddler uses any creams on the scalp, the treatment will not stop the appearance of new bold patches. They can only be effective on the bare patches if at all they are helpful.
[ Read: How To Treat Dandruff In Toddlers ]
Helping Your Child Through Alopecia Areata:
Toddlers generally are not bothered with hair loss as they may not fully grasp the situation at their age. But even so it is important to help them understand what they are going through in case they experience teasing at school or outside the house. This may severely affect their self esteem even if you don’t notice the signs of alopecia in toddlers right away.
- Talk to your toddler’s teachers if you suspect any teasing happening at school at the expense of your child.
- Nutritional deficiency can also trigger toddler alopecia areata problem. So make sure your kid’s diet is rich in all essential nutrients. Zinc and biotin are particularly needed for healthy hair and scalp. They can be found in food sources such as bananas, whole grains, dairy, peanuts, eggs etc.
- Talk to your child if he is bothered by his hair loss. Help him understand that this may be temporary and make sure to not let this affect his confidence in any way.
[ Read: Acne In Toddlers ]
If your toddler suffers from alopecia areata, it is often not a cause of worry at their age. Consult a doctor nonetheless and focus on your kid’s overall health with proper nutrition, care and love.
Does your toddler suffer from alopecia areata? Did you consult a doctor about the problem? Please share your experience with us.
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