Child's Hair Loss Causes & Treatment Advice
Created by Parentune Support Updated on Sep 10, 2019
Sometimes mothers feel "What can cause hair loss in a child?". Most of us moms would have personally experienced hair loss at some point in our lives. Thankfully in children, it is quite uncommon. But it is also true that kids aren’t immune to it and the condition can present itself in your little toddler too!
Hair Loss in Toddlers
Toddlers may have an actual loss of hair– which may be partial or total or they may have hair thinning. There may be several reasons for this. Even then, it is usually not something parents need to worry about. It does, however, require a check-up with your pediatrician who can examine and advise accordingly.
Hair Loss Causes in Children
What kind of deficiencies cause hair loss? There are several causes of hair loss in children. Read here
Fungal Infection (Ringworm/tinea Capitis)
Tinea capitis or ringworm of the scalp is the most common cause of hair loss in children. This is a contagious fungal infection that results in loss of hair in patches. Black spots are seen on the scalp where the hair has broken off. It is treated with anti-fungal cream and shampoo and can take up to two months to clear up.
it is an autoimmune disease that affects hair follicles. Children may suddenly lose patches of hair, but there are no signs of scaling or broken hair. There may be associated with ridging or pitting of nails.
There is no direct cure for alopecia areata, but it will often go away on its own or with the help of topical steroid creams.
Stress-related Telogen Effluvium
Children may have thinning /loss of hair due to sudden and severe stress as may happen with fever, change in hormone levels or any other illness. During such a time, hair goes into a resting phase and growth is temporarily arrested. Once the child is back to normal health and free from stress, the hair regrows. The growing back phase takes anywhere between three to six months.
Lack of certain vitamins and essential minerals may also result in hair fall. Excessive hair loss in children, leading to scaling or splitting of the hair could indicate a deficiency of vitamins like B complex, zinc, and iron. These can be tested for and supplemented in the child’s diet as needed. Suggest you read blogs below.
In children, hair loss could also be due to hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid hormone level is less in the body. There would usually be other symptoms of hormone deficiency as well.
Medications & Treatment Advice
Sometimes, hair loss could be the side-effects of treatments taken for other medical conditions such as chemotherapy, etc.
It is patchy hair loss caused by the rubbing of the scalp against something like a car seat or bed. These patches clear up once the child gets older and begins to sleep in different positions.
Sometimes there may be physical damage to hair caused by rough combing or excessive teasing as in making tight ponytails. Loose hairstyles and gentle conditioning of the hair will take care of the problem.
Sometimes children will compulsively pull or twist their own hair. (Trichotillomania). This is usually due to some stress or anxiety and causes irregular patches of hair loss. A counselor may be required to help identify and cope with the underlying stress.
Child Hair Loss Treatment
Treatment of hair loss in children thus depends on its cause. Hair loss that is due to a medical condition like fungal infection will require specific treatment. Hair loss due to nutritional deficiency and environmental factors can be prevented by ensuring a balanced diet for your child and taking regular good care of his/her hair. It is also important to provide emotional support to the child during this.
Hair loss in toddlers and young children is thus uncommon and usually not harmful to a child 's overall health. If you are concerned about your child's hair loss, see your doctor about it. Rest assured that mostly it resolves itself over time. Don’t lose hair over it!