My Child Developed a Bald Patch After Hitting Her Head'


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Name: Ally

Question: My 10 year old daughter hit her head a month and a half ago I did her hair and she had braids. I had her putting ice on it. I noticed it when I was doing her hair maybe a week after she hit it. The more she iced the more her knot puffed out and she said it hurt. We noticed her braid had hair disappearing around it when we took them out she ended up with a bald patch where she hit her head but now it is like the knot flattened out. Please tell me what happened to my baby's hair and should I consult a dermatologist.

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Answer: Hi, Ally. A bang, blow or knock to the head can trigger Alopecia Areata. This is an autoimmune disorder which can be triggered by such a force and is likely unrelated to the braided hairstyle your daughter wears.

Hair loss caused by frequently wearing tight hairstyles, such as braids, is known as Traction Alopecia and, as banging your head does not pull out the hair, Alopecia Areata is the more likely diagnosis here.

It could be the case that when she hit her head it disrupted her hair growth cycle, pushing some hairs that were in the active growth stage prematurely into the shedding phase. The cycle may remain paused for some time, however, in many cases of mild Alopecia Areata, such as you seem to be describing, the hair will regrow within 12 months.

With this in mind, I recommend you wait it out for around three months if possible. Given where there is a sole bald patch, or small amount of patchy hair loss, hair regrowth will often resume naturally of its own accord, after three months you should be able to see signs of hair growth occurring in the affected area.

It is worth noting that this hair regrowth may be white or cream in appearance, regardless of the natural hair colour your daughter has, when it first comes through. This is because of a lack of pigmentation in the new hair, which may take a little while to catch up. The hair generally returns to its original shade, however.

At Belgravia we only offer Alopecia Areata treatment to adults and are unable to treat any type of hair loss in children.

Should you wish to have a definitive diagnosis and potentially explore treatment options, as your daughter is under 16 years of age, we certainly do recommend taking her to a local dermatologist; if you cannot find one you feel comfortable with, your doctor should be able to refer your daughter to one. We hope she's feeling better soon.

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