Alopecia Areata in Children – Can Stress be a Cause?

May 17 22:58 2016 Print This Article

Hair Loss Studies

A Clinical Study of Alopecia in Children


YJ Kim, YS Chong, BI Ro.
Dept. of Dermatology, College of Medicine, Chung Ang University, Seoul, Korea

Study Information and Results:

To evaluate the clinical characteristics and psychosocial dynamics of children with alopecia, Ahn and Ro had reported alopecia in children from January, 1991 to March, 1995 in the First Tricontinental Meeting of Hair Research Societies in Brussels.

This study was performed from April, 1995 to December, 2000. Among 854 new alopecia OPD patients 161(19.0%) were children under 15 year old with alopecia (A. areata: 118, A. totalis: 32, A. universalis: 10 and trichotillomania: 2) Results were as follows:

1) The average age of alopecia in children was 7.8 years, and 55.9% were primary school students.
2) The most common type of alopecia in children was alopecia areata (73.3%).
3) The previous episodes of alopecia were observed in 12.4%, and family history was observed in 6.8%.
4) Atopic dermatitis was the most common associated disease (23.0%).
5) The eldest sibling or the children with stressful condition due to school task and extracuricular works had high morbidity (45.3%, 29.1%, respectively).
6) On the neuropsychiatric consultation, psychiatrically problematic cases were observed in 51.7%, and neurotic children and adjustment disorders were the most common problems among them.

These results suggest that alopecia in children was predominantly developed in primary school students, the eldest sibling, children with atopic dermatitis or deficient parent-child relationship.

Psychologic stress is an important factor in the development of the disease or may contribute as an aggravating factor.