Causes of Hair Loss In Kids Part 2

Trichotillomania — also known as the Hair Pulling Disorder. It is defined as a obsessive compulsive and related disorder. Constaint hair pulling that results in hair loss.

  • Cause: Varies person to person; can be due to a wide range of emotions: boredom, frustration, depression, etc.  Typically a reaction to emotional distress or traumatic event.
  • Symptoms: Repetitive pulling of own hair, repeated attempts to stop behavior.
  • Not due to substance or a medical condition
  • Can become a chronic condition without treatment (typically comes and goes)
  • Hair loss can eventually lead people suffering from Trich to suffer embarrassment and anxiety, especially socially.

More information can be found on the TLC Foundation site here.

Tinea Capitis — also known as scalp ringworm. A fungal infection of the scalp.

  • Caused by mold-like fungi called dermatophytes. Fungi typically grows well in warm and moist areas.
  • A Tinea Capitis infection will most likely occur if you have:
    • Minor skin or scalp injuries
    • Do not bathe or wash your hair often
    • Have wet skin for prolonged duration (for example: sweating)
  •  Most often affects children and can go away at puberty. However, can still affect any age.
  • Can also catch Tinea Capitis infection if in direct contact with an area of a ringworm on someone’s body, objects, and even pets.
  • May affect part or all of the scalp which may lead to hair loss and scars.
  • Symptoms: affected areas are bald with small black dots (due to hair that has been broken off), round scaly areas of skin that are inflamed, have pus-filled sores, (kerions) and may be very itchy.
  • Can be treated through medicine prescribed by primary healthcare provider.

More information can be found on the Medline Plus site here.

Telogen Effluvium — An occurrence in which the number of hair follicles producing hair drops significantly for any reason during the resting or telogen phase which results in shedding.

  • Can become acute or chronic. Hair loss may not be consistent and even all around.
  • There will not be complete hair loss but there will be hair thinning.
  • Causes: stress, poor diet, change in prescription drugs, may occur as part of some other underlying disease or symptom such as Alopecia Areata.
  • Development of TE: environment factor shocks the hair follicles into resting state, the hair follicles may just go into resting state and remain for a a prolonged amount of time or hair follicles may go through short growth cycles which results in persistent shedding and thin hair.
  • Treatment:
    • Short term TE may be caused by a trigger so the best way is for the hair follicles to naturally correct themselves
    • Long-term TE treatment varies on the causal factor which may be corrected. Otherwise, can be prescribed a hair growth stimulator by a dermatologist such as Minoxidil
  • Chronic TE is common and typically affects woman in their 30-60’s who had thick hair in their teens and twenties.

More information can be found on the American Hairloss Organization site here as well as the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology site here.