Pulling or twist­ing hair a self- com­fort­ing habit

Townsville Bulletin - - About A Baby - townsville­bul­letin. com. au

tod­dler seems to be los­ing her hair? What is caus­ing it? She has a large patch of miss­ing hair on the top of her head. It’s not a spot she sleeps on so that can’t be a rea­son. Should I be con­cerned? Bianca, Dou­glas

are many causes of patchy hair loss ( alope­cia). The word, Tri­chotil­lo­ma­nia is used for hair loss due to a child twist­ing, pulling or pluck­ing out his/ her hair, eye­brows or eye­lashes. Tri­chotil­lo­ma­nia does not cause per­ma­nent hair loss, harm to the hair fol­li­cles nor does it cause brain dam­age.

When the pulling, twist­ing or pluck­ing stops, the child’s hair will grow back nor­mally.

Tri­chotil­lo­ma­nia is quite com­mon in chil­dren and the be­hav­iour re­sponds well to treat­ment.

Hair pulling in ba­bies is usu­ally a self-com­fort­ing habit. It of­ten goes along with thumb suck­ing.

The baby re­clines with thumb or fin­gers in the mouth and twists his/ her own or his mother’s hair with the other hand. The child finds this re­lax­ing and usu­ally en­gages in the be­hav­iour be­fore fall­ing asleep or when he/ she is dis­tressed. child pulls at his hair, he soon will learn how to get your at­ten­tion with this be­hav­iour. Hair pulling is used by your child as an ef­fec­tive ad­di­tion to kick­ing and scream­ing dur­ing a tantrum.

Younger chil­dren usu­ally twist hair and the older ones pluck at their hair.

It is best to visit your doc­tor for a gen­eral re­view of your child and to dis­cuss their diet and any fam­ily his­tory of hair loss.

Alope­cia areata may present in sus­cep­ti­ble chil­dren of any age, and oc­ca­sion­ally pro­gresses to the more se­vere forms where all body hair is lost.

Alope­cia areata is con­sid­ered an in­her­ited au­toim­mune Email your ques­tions t o aboutababy@ t ownsville­bul­letin . com. au. Donna Gan­dini is a gen­eral and neona­tal pae­di­a­tri­cian and breast-feed­ing ad­viser. Con­tact her at 4778 4581, at Health and Well­be­ing North Ward or at the Fair­field Waters Med­i­cal Cen­tre. con­di­tion, when cer­tain white blood cells be­gin re­act­ing against the pig­ment ( hair colour) cells within the hair shaft.

That’s why ini­tial hair re­growth in alope­cia areata is nearly al­ways white or un­pig­mented hair – these are spared by the au­toim­mune process.

This dis­or­der is more of­ten seen in dark-haired and Asian peo­ple af­fect­ing males and fe­males equally.

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