13-year-old is suffering from Alopecia Areata and showing large bald patches. Any advice would be helpful.

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I have a 13 year old grandson who was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata over 2 years ago. It began with a total loss of his eyebrows then patches of hair on the back of his head. He now has hair only on the top of his head as the sides are also showing larger bald patches. He has virtually no hair on his arms or legs either. At this age he is finding his condition extremely difficult to handle. He was initially given steroid foam to spray on his head then light treatment and more recently injections into his scalp.

None of these have made much difference. We are now considering paying for hair weave / partial real hair piece treatment. He has never been given blood tests to determine a cause, however we are convinced it is related to auto immune disease as he has suffered from severe bowel problems since he was a baby.

Any advice would be helpful!

Shuna’s Answer

What a difficult time for your grandson! I would very much like to consult him and see whether there are in fact any active follicles or the presence of exclamation mark hairs to guide you honestly and thoroughly. I find hair loss conditions such as these particularly in children much easier to hear the total truth from the off. He may well need to have various blood tests and if indeed AA then an auto immune involvement would certainly be present.

In the short term a wig would be a very good idea as at this sensitive hormonal time of life he will simply wish to “fit in” rather than feel different. There are many really good local shops that I refer to, we can discuss more. The quality these days has massively improved.

I am quite happy to discuss this further with you at my clinic.

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