Derm Topics

Pediatric Hair Loss: Nuances in Clinical Presentation

Next Steps in Derm, in partnership with Skin of Color Update, interviewed Dr. Candrice Heath, assistant professor of dermatology at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. Every dermatology clinician should know some very specific things about hair loss, according to Dr. Heath, including that children can present with adult hair conditions. Watch as Dr. Heath outlines three conditions you should look for in your pediatric patients with tightly coiled hair who are experiencing hair loss. You may be able to catch a serious condition in its earliest stages. 

Further Reading

If you want to read more about pediatric hair loss, check out the following articles published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology:

Treatment of Alopecia in Children


Alopecia or hair loss in children is an important and often challenging problem to diagnose and treat. Early diagnosis and treatment is the key because hair loss in children has a significant physical as well as psychological impact on their development. Alopecia in children are mainly non-scarring, but cicatricial alopecia can also be seen. The diagnosis can usually be made by direct examination of the scalp. Potassium hydroxide (KOH) examination of plucked hair and scalp scrapings, woods lamp examination and trichoscopy are useful diagnostic aids. When a cicatricial alopecia is suspected, scalp biopsy is recommended. Disease specific treatment should be initiated early and adequate counselling provided to both the patient and their parents. This review focuses on the treatment options available for various types of alopecia in children and their safety and efficacy data, analyzing the available literature evidences.

Management of Traction Alopecia: Our Experience and a Brief Review of Current Literature Recommendations


Traction alopecia is a common hair loss condition related to hair shaft trauma and sustained pulling leading to hair follicle loosening and inflammation. Although often categorized as nonscarring, increasing evidence indicate that late-stage traction alopecia (TA) can cause permanent hair loss and scarring from chronic folliculitis and sustained hair tension. TA is often seen in women of African descent, although cases have been reported in African men, Hispanic women, Japanese women, Sikh men, and ballet dancers. Early effective treatment is needed to prevent progression and potential scarring; therefore, a review and summary of published literature for best practices is necessary and valuable. 

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