Causes of Hair loss In Kids Part 1

Cancer treatments — Common cancer treatments use chemotherapy as a way to kill or damage the cancer cells.

  • Chemotherapy is typically meant to destroy the cancer cells,  control the disease (stopping the cancer from spreading/growing), or palliation which is to ease the symptoms from the cancer.
  • Chemotherapy causes hair loss because the the chemo targets all rapidly growing cells (whether its healthy or cancerous.) Hair follicles are the fast growing cells in the body. As the cancer cells are destroyed, so are the hair cells.

More information can be found on the American Cancer Society site here as well as the breastcancer.org site here.

Alopecia Areata — A common autoimmune skin disease that often appears during childhood.

  • Autoimmune disease: When the immune system mistakes normal cells in body as foreign and attacks these cells
  • Cause: Unknown. (Scientists are not sure whether it is triggered from inside the body or from outside the body. Maybe even a combination of both)
  • Symptoms: It causes hair loss on the scalp, face and sometimes areas on the body.
  • It is typically not passed down genetically.

More information can be found on the National Alopecia Areata Foundation site here.

 

Burns — Painful wound cause by thermal, electrical, chemical  or electromagnetic energy.

  • There are various types of burns which can have varying effects on different layers of the skin.
    1. Epidermis (outer layer of skin)
    2. Dermis (middle layer of skin)
    3. Subcutis (deepest layer of skin)
  • Burn classifications: Burns are classified by how deep and severely they penetrate the skin’s surface.
    1. First-degree burns (superficial) burns
      • Affects only the epidermis
      • Red, painful, dry and no blisters
    2. Second-degree burns (partial thickness) burns
      • Affects epidermis and dermis layer
      • Red, blistered and may be swollen or blistered
    3. Third-degree burns (full thickness) burns
      • Epidermis and dermis are essentially destroyed. Muscle, bones and tendons may be damaged (if so, may be referred to as a fourth-degree burn)
      • Burn site may be white and charred; no feeling in area because nerves are compromised

Severe burns can leave physical disfigurement, loss of mobility and scarring. This means that the hair follicles in the affected area will not be able to regenerate.

More information can be found on the John Hopkins Medicine site here.

 

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