Identifying & Treating Alopecia Areata In Toddlers
The name alopecia areata is quite a mouthful and if you're told it's the name of a disease you are sure to think that it's a complicated and fatal disease. While alopecia areata is a complicated disorder, it's neither fatal nor dangerous. Simply put, it is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair fall.
Conditions during Toddler Alopecia Areata
In this condition a toddler's immune system attacks the follicles of his hair,...
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...very much as though it is protecting his body from an illness. This onslaught from the immune system causes patches of hair to fall off. This disorder causes no pain and will not affect your toddler's health in any way. The most you'll have to contend with is a bald-ish look.
The reason this disorder is complicated is because it is extremely unpredictable. There is no definite cause for alopecia although researchers say genetics could be one cause. According to studies one in five people with alopecia has had a family member who had it too. Studies also show that alopecia does occur in families which have a history of hay fever, atopic eczema, asthma or other autoimmune disease. But the exact cause or trigger for this disorder is yet to be known. In most cases, stress is considered a prime cause of hair loss, but alopecia areata is not caused due to stress.
Also, there is no set pattern for hair loss. Nor is there a pattern for intensity. Some toddlers may lose just one patch, some others may lose several patches and there could also be cases where the toddler loses hair all over the scalp and the body.
Similarly there is no predictability on hair re-growth. In most cases, hair grows back in a few months time. However, if there is no re-growth in a year's time it's possible that the hair may never grow or only grow after several years.
Identify alopecia areata
If your toddler is suddenly losing hair in clumps and there are round or oval bald patches that appear very suddenly on his scalp, it is most likely alopecia. Other signs that the hair loss is alopecia is that the bald patch will be smooth and the hair in that area will be really short, close to the scalp and the hair could be colored. Also, in some cases your toddler could have dent like marks on his nails.
Treatment for Toddler Alopecia Areata
Since research hasn't been able to come up with a definite cause or trigger for alopecia, there is no cure or preventive measure that you can take. However, if the bald patches are not growing back on your toddler's scalp, you could consult a dermatologist.
Dermatologists may be hesitant, though, to administer any treatment for hair growth for toddlers as most medications may have side effects. If you are opting for a treatment, do thoroughly check with the doctor about its possible side effects. Also, if there are several bald smooth patches on your toddler's scalp, ensure that he is well protected from the sun; make him wear a hat at all times, as the bald areas could get sunburnt.
Alopecia areata is a complex disorder, and if your toddler does contract this condition, take heart from the fact that in almost 90 percent of the cases, the hair loss is restored in a few months without any treatment. Another plus for you is that you don't have to worry about how your child feels about his looks because toddlers aren't too clued in on appearances yet.
Toddler Hair Loss Alopecia Areata