A multinational pharmaceutical company based in Basel has been conducting trials into the use of terbinafine cream on what is generally accepted as the most common form of hair loss in children.
Tinea Capitis is a disease of the scalp that is most often seen on young boys, especially those aged between three and 10, and is caused by a fungal infection. It can sometimes cause patchy hair loss, something which makes a correct diagnosis essential, as the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata can result in a similar kind of shedding. Alopecia Areata treatment however, is very different to that for Tinea Capitis.
One of the go-to treatments for Tinea Capitis is an oral medicine named Griseofulvin, an antifungal medication that is commonly used to treat infections of the skin, scalp and nails. Swiss company Novartis wanted to see if a different drug named terbinafine hydrochloride compared favourably to Griseofulvin.
No data yet available
While Novartis’ study is marked as “completed” on the clinicaltrials.gov website, no conclusions or data amassed by the company has yet been made available. Incredibly, it has been working on the study since 2004, when it initially set out to find 720 children aged between four and 12 who would take part in the trial. It would appear that half of the volunteers were given terbinafine hydrochloride in mini-tablet form and half were given Griseofulvin in suspension (liquid) form.
The team behind the study said they wanted to compare cure rates after 10 weeks, and also assess the safety levels of terbinafine.
Hair loss in children is always distressing, though a diagnosis of Tinea Capitis should arguably come with a wave of relief for worried parents as it poses no long-term threat to a child’s health, nor does it suggest that hairloss will be a recurrent feature of their child’s life. It is a very treatable condition, and the best place to start is with a visit to a GP.
One regularly-seen clue that the condition is indeed Tinea Capitis is that it quite often begins around a bruise site on the scalp, possibly because damaged skin tissue gives the fungus a chance to enter the body. It has been suggested that this is perhaps why boys – given their inclination towards boisterous play – are more often affected.
Playing armchair detective is never a good idea when it comes to hair loss, however, as there are a multitude of completely different conditions and they usually have very specific treatment options. While men and women aged 16 and over can visit a specialist hair loss clinic for a diagnosis, advice and treatment, the local doctor should always be the first port of call when children are involved.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.