My child has hair loss in patches. Can it be treated
5 year old Varun is the apple of his mother’s eye. He is the life of the house and is a very active kid. His friendly and playful nature has earned him a popular spot even among the neighbours. For a while now, however, along with his playful nature something else also has been catching everyone’s attention – some round patches of hair loss on Varun’s head.
For a mother, her child is the most perfect thing in the world!
Of all the different ailments that children might be prone to, we seldom imagine hair loss to be one of them. And yet hair loss in children is a sad reality. In many cases, just like in Varun’s case, hair loss can be seen in patches, which can be due to a condition called alopecia areata. It is a non-contagious condition in which the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles resulting in oval or round patches of hair loss. The patches are smooth, without any inflammation, broken hairs or scaling.
So What Causes Alopecia Areata?
Being an autoimmune disorder, it is difficult to ascertain alopecia causes. Stress has been seen as an important cause of alopecia. Apart from this, a family history of autoimmune disorders may make a person more susceptible to develop alopecia areata.
How Alopecia Areata Affects Your Tiny Tots
While there are no life-threatening impacts of alopecia on a child’s health, it can affect children at a psychological and emotional level. Some ways in which alopecia can affect children are as under:
- The Stare Game: Other children may stare or make fun of the children suffering from alopecia as their hair tends to look different from others.
- Social Isolation: On the pretext of looking different, children suffering from alopecia are often subjected to bullying and are left out or excluded from different activities by fellow classmates.
- A Hit On Self-Esteem: Children suffering from alopecia eventually start internalizing that something is wrong with them and hence their classmates are treating them differently. This may result in these children isolating themselves from others, believing they are not good enough.
- Being Mistaken for Cancer: Because of the large proportion of untimely hair loss, in some cases, children suffering from alopecia are mistaken for suffering from cancer by people who are not aware of the condition. This can again lead to differential treatment and can be traumatic for the child as well as the parents of these children.
- Impact on Performance: All the above reasons end up affecting the children suffering from alopecia at psychological, social and emotional levels. This may have a direct effect on their academic performance.
Homeopathy To The Rescue
Homeopathic medicines work very well in the treatment of disorders related to the immune system. They help enhance the immunity of the body, thus preventing the immune system from attacking hair follicles. Alopecia treatment in homeopathy involves controlling the bald spot from spreading to different regions and also promoting hair growth. Also, homeopathy medicines for hair loss are natural, safe and free of side effects, making them an ideal medium for hair fall treatment. The best part is that homeopathic medicines are sweet in taste and hence are easy for children to take.
Support For Alopecia Areata
While the medicines can help treat the ailment, certain steps need to be taken to help the children at an emotional or psychological level.
· Talk to your child: Engage in active conversations with your child to understand how their day went, if there were any specific instances in school involving them and any kind of feelings or thoughts they have regarding their condition. Make them feel that they have your full support in this and that they are not alone.
· Role of educators: The teachers who have students suffering from alopecia areata should make an active effort to educate the students about the condition. Awareness often leads to understanding which can lead to empathy. An honest effort by the school management in addressing the situation can prove to be a boon for the child suffering from this condition.
· Step out: Keeping away from social engagements because you’re afraid of the questions, afraid to be embarrassed or just plain worried for your child is neither going to help you nor your child. People are going to talk anyways. In an effort to protect them, you may risk having your child feel responsible for putting you through this ordeal. Instead step out, confident and strong. Use the social situations as an opportunity to speak to people about alopecia, because it’s not just the children who need to be made aware, sometimes it’s also the adults.
It is not easy for children to deal with alopecia. But you can make it better for them. Do your little bit in ensuring all our little Varuns enjoy a happy and playful childhood with alopecia.