How Fungal Infection Can Cause Hair Loss in Kids

Kids don’t usually suffer from hair loss. In fact, kids almost always have the thickest and richest hair; they’re walking hallmarks of perfect hair. However, there is one condition wherein kids actually experience complete hair loss in some part of their scalp. When this happens, medical treatment should be carried out immediately.

Common Occurrence

Like other fungal infections, tinea capitis usually affects children that are in close contact with each other. When a space is densely populated by children with variable levels of personal hygiene, the proponent of tinea capitis is often passed on easily from one child to another.

Tinea capitis can also manifest itself in adults. However, the bulk of incidences happen in children who have come into contact with infected individuals.

Symptoms

Tinea capitis is quite unpleasant to look at. The beginning phases of fungal colonization resemble ordinary dandruff. Often, the child’s head is covered by a blister-like formation that is painful and itchy to the touch. There is also the presence of flakes. Sections of the scalp are also afflicted with round, bald spots.

When a child is affected by tinea capitis, the lymph nodes also react to the fungal infection. Like cases of severe bacterial infection, the lymph nodes also react to the presence of fungi in the body. Try patting behind the ear to see whether the lymph nodes there are showing signs of inflammation.

Diagnosis

The most efficient way of determining whether a child has a fungal infection or not is by culturing a sample of the affected area. A single culture of infected hair is sufficient to determine whether a child indeed has tinea capitis. When viewed under a microscope, the hair culture would show the distinct fungal formations that are conclusive proof of the presence of fungus in the hair.

Treatment

Just like the treatment for severe toenail fungus, an oral medication is often prescribed to counter the fungal infection in the hair. Unfortunately, the full treatment of tinea capitis would take many months. There might be a chance that the visible infestation would disappear within a few weeks, but the child has to continue taking the oral medication to prevent recurrences.

Notes On The Severity Of The Alopecia

When tinea capitis is diagnosed early enough, the round, bald patches on the scalp of the child will eventually disappear. The hair will gradually re-grow, depending on how well the child responds to the oral antifungal regimen. If however, the child fails to tell his or her parents early enough, the fungal infection might enter a particular dangerous phase of sustained inflammation.

When sustained inflammation sets in, permanent damage might take place in the scalp. If this does happen, you have to be prepared for the possibility that the hair on your child’s hair will not grow back anymore.

This is why it’s so important to check your children’s hair regularly, to avoid any unpleasant, permanent effects of such hair conditions. Tinea capitis is a form of scarring hair loss that may cause large bands of scars to form across the affected areas of the scalp.

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How to Prevent Hair Loss in Children

Millions of men and women in the United States suffer from hair loss, some excessive. Although it does not cause pain, can be a devastating condition to have. Worse yet, if you are a parent, you might fear that your child will suffer the same fate. In fact, you may start to panic if you notice that your child is losing a few strands of hair. A few strands of hair is nothing to panic about. In fact it is quite normal, but is there anything that you can do to prevent your child from losing their hair?

There are many different reasons for hair loss. According to FamilyDoctor.org, common causes in children include hormone imbalances, ringworm of the scalp, alopecia areata, trichotillomania, and cancer treatments. Alopecia areata is when the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles. This condition is known to be hereditary, meaning there is nothing you can do, but, luckily, most kids grow their hair back. Trichotillomania is the medical name for the pulling of hair. You might be surprised to hear that some kids feel the uncontrollable urge to pull their hair when stressed. With stress management, this condition can be treated.

Although the above mentioned causes are a few of the most common medical causes of hair loss in kids, there are other culprits. These are very easy to control and avoid. Hair will fall out when it is damaged beyond repair. That is why children and teenagers should avoid harsh chemicals, such as hair dye. The chemicals used to perm and straighten hairs can cause harm too. Avoiding harsh chemicals may not be a problem for your six-year-old, but it will be another story for your fashion conscious sixteen-year-old.

Other ways that you as a parent can help prevent your child from hair loss is by being careful when styling their hair. For teenagers, encourage them to practice hair-friendly styles. Hair follicles are sensitive. With too much pulling and tugging, they will come out. That is why it is important to brush the hair slowly and softly. Don’t discourage your daughter from wearing ponytails, but know they can cause temporary hair loss. Your daughter’s hair may get tangled in with the holder. When she goes to pull it out, hair will come with it.

As you can see, there are ways to prevent hair loss in children. If a medical condition is the cause, professional treatment should be sought. Most importantly, remember that hair loss in children is almost always temporary. Don’t panic if your child loses small amount of hair. They aren’t necessarily destined to have the same fate as you. It will likely grow back.

Types of Hair Loss Problems in Kids

There are different types of hair loss problems that your kids might face. If you notice hair loss in your kids, then the condition can be embarrassing and traumatic. Your kids might experience hair loss problem like alopecia areata. In this condition, there is loss of hair from all parts of the body and mostly from the scalp region. This condition is also termed as spot baldness, because hair lost is in the form of spots from the scalp area.

The bets part is that in most children, this problem is reversible and does not require any treatment, but in some cases, it is advisable to visit your physician for the right treatment. You have to keep in mind that in most alopecia conditions, the process of restoration and elimination is time consuming and in some cases, it might take a year. There are also chances that the condition might be irreversible in nearly 40% cases.

This condition can be quiet frustrating for both the parents as well as kids. Telogen effluvium is a type of condition caused due to fungal infection in your scalp, eyelashes and eyebrows. The fungus attacks the shaft of the hair and forces it to break. The affected area also forms a type of black spot, which might experience itching. This is a contagious condition and can spread from one child to other.

In case, your child is suffering from this condition, it is advisable to avoid sharing your child’s comb and brush with other kids. This condition is more prevalent in children between 3 to 10 years of age and boys are more prone to this disease. Traction alopecia is a condition, which leads to damaged hair follicles. This condition is very much common in kids, who have tight braids. You have to keep in mind that our hair is very delicate and thus, you need to avoid too much of pull and assault.