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Causes of hair loss in children

Hair loss seems to affect every gender and every age group. Hair loss in children is actually not very common. Hair loss in children is a more prevalent occurrence than most people imagine.It is significant enough that nearly 2 Million children suffer from at least one form of Alopecia (hair loss) or another in the United States.

Children's hair loss is caused by Tinea Capitis. The problem in children is associated by a fungal infection on the skin of the body such as eyebrows, eyelashes and scalp. The problem is determined to be a type of dermatophtosis or superficial mycosis. This has also other names such as tinea tonsurans and ringworm on the skin of the scalp. The problem of tinea capitis is increased in the United States and other areas of the world. There are patchy of hair loss in children who have tinea capitis with hairs broken-off on the surface of the scalp.

There are various patches of lost hair such as oval or round. In some cases, hairs are broken-off at the skin of the scalp and there are dots in black color on the scalp.

Sometimes, scales or gray flakes can be seen by the patients. Alopecia areata is the most common cause of hair loss in children. This is felt to be caused by the body's immune system reacting at the site of hair growth. Often no treatment is needed because 60% of these children will have total hair regrowth within 12 months.

Children's hair loss can be an extremely devastating issue. Trichotillomania is a condition in which a child actually pulls the hair out, leaving an irregular patch of hair loss with broken off hairs of different sizes.

Symptoms include: Itching of the scalp, round scaly spots on the skin and scalp, redness and inflammation, bald patches and/or small black dots on the scalp. In extreme cases, pus filled lesions on the scalp may appear.

Tinea capitis is usually treated with an antifungal, such as griseofulvin, which is taken by mouth for 8 weeks.Tinea capitis is also treated with Nizoral shampoo, which is used to wash the scalp 2-3 times a week. It is very important to continue the use of the oral medication and shampoo for the entire 8 weeks. Treatment failure is common when medications are not taken everyday for the full 8 weeks.

Hair loss usually begins several weeks after the first or second chemotherapy treatment, although this varies from individual to individual. There are various oils, lotions, creams, conditioners and gels available in market which can help in preventing hair loss.

Hair transplantation is not an effective treatment for telogen effluvium. Brisk hair brushing and very tight pigtails or ponytails can sometimes cause minor hair loss, so go easy with the comb.

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