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Title: Optimal management of hair loss (alopecia) in children.
Epworth Authors: Sinclair, Rodney
Other Authors: Harrison, S.
Keywords: Alopecia
Mental Health
Tinea Capitis
Drug Therapy
Hair Loss
Head & Neck Clinical Institute, Epworth HealthCare, Victoria, Australia
Chair of Dermatology, Epworth HealthCare, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date: Nov-2003
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Am J Clin Dermatol. 2003;4(11):757-70.
Abstract: Hair loss in children encompasses a wide range of conditions that can be congenital or acquired. A congenital hair abnormality may be an isolated finding in an otherwise healthy child or may exist as a feature of a clinical syndrome. A thorough understanding of basic hair biology and normal hair development enables accurate assessment of the child with hair loss. Knowledge of the normal range and variation observed in children's hair additionally enhances this assessment. Social and cultural factors also influence these norms. The psychological and cosmetic importance of hair is immense in our society. The clinical presentation of pediatric hair disorders ranges from subtle to disfiguring. Management of hair disorders requires a holistic approach to the child and family. Young children usually lack self-awareness and it may be the parent who, projecting their own concerns onto the child, most acutely feels any associated anxiety. In addition, parents of a child with an inherited hair condition often feel guilt, and siblings can develop unsupported fears that they may be affected. Hair loss for the older child can lead to low self-esteem, depression and humiliation. Congenital and hereditary hypotrichosis and hair shaft abnormalities often have no effective treatment. There is a variety of treatment options for alopecia areata and telogen effluvium, but no single treatment is 100% effective. Tinea capitis is an infective condition of the hair that responds readily to the appropriate medical therapy. If no effective treatment for the hair loss exists, cosmetic camouflage with wigs is the best option.
DOI: 10.2165/00128071-200304110-00004
PubMed URL:
ISSN: 1175-0561
Journal Title: American Journal of Clinical Dermatology
Type: Journal Article
Affiliated Organisations: Department of Medicine (Dermatology), St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia.
Type of Clinical Study or Trial: Review
Appears in Collections:Dermatology
Head & Neck
Mental Health

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