Hair loss is an issue we usually associate with adults, but hair loss is fairly common in children as well. Most children (26 months or older) have hair loss problems, which can be frightening for the parents. Compared to adults, it is easier to treat or grow back hair in children once the underlying cause is known.
What Is Hair?
Hair forms a protective layer that is present all over the body. It is made up of a kind of protein called keratin. Hair has different parts: a hair shaft (the part which shows), a root, and a follicle. The hair follicle is present in the roots of the hair from which the hair grows, and at the lower end of the follicle, there is a hair bulb from which hair pigment melanin is produced.
On average, an individual loses fifty to hundreds of hair every day, growing back from the same follicle, which is normal.
What Are the Main Causes and Treatments of Hair Loss in Children?
There are many causative reasons leading to hair loss in children. The following are the causes and their homeopathic treatment -
1. Tinea Capitis (Ringworm of the Scalp) -
This is a kind of fungal infection of the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes. This infection is the most common cause of hair loss in children. Children suffering from tinea capitis usually have patchy hair loss with broken-off hairs visible on the scalp. Broken hairs sometimes look like a black dot on the scalp. Ringworm is a contagious infection. Hence, it is advised not to share any objects that are in contact with your child's head, like pillows, hats, hair clips, combs, etc.
Homeopathic remedies like Bacillinum, Graphites, Mezereum, Sulphur, Psorimun, and Tellurium can be used in treating this condition.
2. Alopecia Areata (Round, Oval Patch Over the Scalp) -
The sudden appearance of round or oval patches of hair loss is called alopecia areata. This is a non-contagious form of hair loss. The hair loss patch is smooth and soft, with no signs of broken hair or inflammation. A small number of children may also develop pitting of nails along with alopecia. Alopecia areata is usually caused by the body's immune system attacking the hair follicles. Appropriate treatment is essential for this kind of hair loss to prevent the disease's progression. With appropriate treatment, the lost hair can be regained within a year. However, if the treatment is delayed, the child may keep losing hair.
Homeopathic remedies act like a miracle in treating alopecia areata. It is believed that homeopathic remedies, given after considering the totality of the patient, are more likely to provide positive results than giving just specific remedies, where the recurrence of the problem is very common.
3. Trauma to the Hair Shaft -
Trauma is caused by wearing tight rubber bands around the hair or tight ponytails, chemical burns due to the use of highly concentrated chemicals over the hairs for hair treatment, etc. This kind of trauma is another common cause of hair loss in children. However, hairs will likely grow back once the cause is removed.
After removing the cause, the child may take Arnica 30C two pills in two spoons of water every day for ten days. Arnica will relieve the pain that was caused due to trauma to the scalp.
4. Telogen Effluvium (Sudden and Severe Stress) -
In this condition, hair loss is caused in children when their body goes through some stress like having a high-grade fever due to some infection, undergoing surgery, severe nutritional deficiencies, using certain medications for more extended periods of time, or emotional stress due to the death of loved ones, etc. The above-mentioned stress can disrupt the normal growth cycle, leading to hair loss.
There is no particular treatment for this condition in the allopathic system of medicine. Still, with the help of homeopathy, the child can overcome the stressful event, allowing hair to grow back and maintain the normal hair growth cycle. In order to treat this condition, understanding the level of the child's mental, emotional, and physical state is very important. Therefore, psychological counseling is necessary as well, especially if the child is going through emotional stress. Along with medicine and counseling, good nutritional support will help regain the hair. For example, B-complex vitamins and zinc supplements are good for hair growth.
5. Hypothyroidism (Insufficient Amount of Thyroid Production) -
Sometimes, hypothyroidism, where the thyroid gland is underactive and produces insufficient amounts of thyroid hormone, can cause hair loss in children. Thyroid medications will prevent hair loss and bring thyroid levels back to normal. Homeopathic remedies, to a greater extent, help normalize thyroid hormones. Based on the complete picture of the child, an indicative homeopathic remedy should be prescribed, especially for endocrine problems like hypothyroidism.
When to Consult a Doctor for Hair Loss?
Hair loss in children is a crucial problem. It is very important to seek medical help and plan the treatment accordingly -
Following are the early signs of hair loss in children -
The child complains about an itchy scalp.
Visible bald spot over the scalp.
When the child starts losing hair from eyebrows and eyelashes.
Hair loss caused the intake of some new medicine.
Heavy hair falls more than usual.
Hair loss in children is not very common. But for children, it is a bit tough to make them understand the problem as it may embarrass them to lose a lot of hair at a young age.
Treatment and managing hair loss in children is critical, and timely action is required to stop further damage and prevent similar future occurrences. There are several homeopathy-specific remedies for hair loss in children, and some of them are mentioned above. These specific remedies can miraculously treat the condition. However, most of the time, it becomes essential to prescribe the classical treatment based on the patient's overall health history and considering the child's totality.