Here at Simone Thomas hair loss clinic and hairdressers in Bournemouth we see many cases of hair loss in children. Over the next few weeks our blogs will be about hair loss in children and the common conditions associated with it. This blog is about Alopecia Areata hair loss in children which relates to sudden patches of hair loss. This can be quite scary as there is no warning – it just literally happens.
Alopecia Areata is the sudden appearance of round or oval patches of hair loss. These patches are completely bald without any signs of inflammation, scaling, or broken hairs. They appear literally overnight, or sometimes over a few days.
Alopecia Areata is thought to be caused by the body’s immune system attacking the hair follicles. At any given moment, about 1 in 1,000 children has Alopecia Areata. About 25% of these children will also have pitting or ridging of the nails.
Over time, a large percentage of patients will grow all of their hair back within one year — many will have it sooner. Children with Alopecia Areata should be under the care of a dermatologist or their GP. About 5% of children with Alopecia Areata will go on to develop Alopecia totalis, hair loss on the scalp. Some of these will develop Alopecia Universalis — the complete loss of body hair.
Treatment: There is no cure for Alopecia Areata and unfortunately since there is little understanding of the disease there are no approved drugs or treatments specifically designed to treat Alopecia Areata. Many forms of hair loss are either self-limited (Telogen effluvium or drug side effects) or respond to treatment with medication (tinea Capitis). Even hereditary female or male pattern baldness tends to improve with treatment. However, treatment must continue indefinitely. In some conditions, hair loss cannot be reversed, especially if scarring has developed (as can happen in lupus-related scalp disease).
Alopecia Areata is an unpredictable disease and can happen at any time and even with complete remission it is possible for it to occur again throughout your child’s lifetime. Here at Simone Thomas, we see many children and young adults who find themselves suffering from hair loss and specifically Alopecia Areata. There is help in funding for a wig through the Little Princess Trust, please feel free to contact them directly or we can also put you in contact with them to see if you qualify for help towards the cost of a wig.
Simone Thomas offers hair loss consultations and can provide a variety of non-surgical hair loss solutions such as real hair wigs, hair extensions, pieces and many more. Call 01202 760 003 to learn more.