|Year : 2017 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 100-103
A clinico-epidemiological study of pediatric hair disorders
S Nageswaramma, V Lakshmi Sarojini, T Vani, S Madhuri
Department of DVL, Guntur Medical College, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
|Date of Web Publication||27-Mar-2017|
Department of DVL, OP Number 30, Government General Hospital, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Context: Hair disorders are a common complaint in dermatology clinics and can be caused by a number of conditions. Children have etiologies different from adults.
Aims: There is a paucity of studies in evaluating pediatric hair disorders. The ultimate aim was to provide a guide for evaluating hair disorders commonly occurring in childhood in our environment.
Materials and Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted from August 2014 to August 2015. Children suffering from various hair disorders were included in the study.
Results: We report a clinico-epidemiological study of 503 children suffering from various scalp/hair disorders. The most common causes were folliculitis, furunculosis, pediculosis, alopecia areata, and tinea capitis.
Conclusions: As has been observed in this study, hair problem may be due to various infections, and this is a very important problem to think of, especially in developing countries.
Keywords: Folliculitis, furunculosis, hair disorders, infections
|How to cite this article:|
Nageswaramma S, Sarojini V L, Vani T, Madhuri S. A clinico-epidemiological study of pediatric hair disorders. Indian J Paediatr Dermatol 2017;18:100-3
|How to cite this URL:|
Nageswaramma S, Sarojini V L, Vani T, Madhuri S. A clinico-epidemiological study of pediatric hair disorders. Indian J Paediatr Dermatol [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Jul 8];18:100-3. Available from: http://www.ijpd.in/text.asp?2017/18/2/100/203000
| Introduction|| |
Hair disorders are a common complaint in dermatology clinics and can be caused by a number of conditions, reflected in a specific diagnosis. In addition, this problem is of a prime concern in pediatric population as it is associated with more significant psychological consequences in this growing age group.
Common causes of hair disorders in children  include folliculitis and furunculosis, pediculosis, alopecia areata, and tinea capitis (TC). In addition to the above-mentioned causes, other less common causes include pityriasis capitis, telogen effluvium, folliculitis decalvans, premature graying of hair, piebaldism, trichotillomania, and congenital atrichia.
Hair types are influenced by ethnic groups, and this varies from region to region, and subsequently, this may reflect itself on the variation of common and uncommon causes of hair disorders. Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the types of hair problems in our region.
| Materials and Methods|| |
A prospective observational study was conducted from August 2014 to August 2015 in Guntur. A total of 5800 children attended our outpatient department (OPD), of which 503 children suffering from various hair/scalp disorders were included.
The inclusion criteria include all children aged below 15 years suffering from scalp/hair disorders.
The exclusion criteria were all children above 15 years of age.
The objective of this study is to review the clinico-epidemiological data of pediatric hair disorders for early diagnosis and to prevent the complications.
Data collected included age, sex, and clinical presentation (any hair loss, scaling, pain, etc.). In addition, detailed history was taken about other cutaneous changes, systemic diseases, family history of similar conditions/autoimmune diseases, and drug history.
Scalp examination included the skin of scalp (erythema, scales, etc.) and hair examination included hair color, texture, fragility, and examination of the hair root. In addition, Wood's lamp examination, skin and scalp scrapings for potassium hydroxide (KOH) smear, mycological studies, and bacteriology were done for specific diagnostic cases.
In addition to scalp, other hair-bearing areas were examined for abnormalities. Nail and teeth were also examined.
| Results|| |
Of 5800 children attending our DVL OPD, 503 children were included, of which 280 were males and 223 were females. Age range was from birth to 15 years of age [Chart 1].
The most common cause was folliculitis and furunculosis (27%), followed by pediculosis (20%), alopecia areata (18), and TC (17%).
Other causes are illustrated in [Chart 2].
| Discussion|| |
Folliculitis and Furunculosis
Infectious causes were the most common causes of hair disorders  in our study. Various factors such as poverty, malnutrition, overcrowding, and poor hygiene were responsible for higher incidence in lower socioeconomic group. Seasonal variation was observed. More cases were reported in hot and rainy climate. Males and females were equally affected. Older children were more affected than younger children. Etiological agents  identified were Staphylococcus aureus(44.5%), S. aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes combined (28%), and S. pyogenes alone (13.3%). Other organisms included were coagulase-negative Staphylococci. Antibiotic sensitivity  was done. S. aureus showed 75.5% resistance to penicillin and 45.4% resistance to tetracycline. S. pyogenes was resistant to streptomycin in 14.4% of the cases and tetracycline in 14.8% of the cases.
In this study, we observed that females were four times more commonly affected than males. Pediculosis  was common in 6–12 age group. The presenting complaints were itching and secondary infection. Lymphadenopathy was found in 55.5% of the cases. Although pediculosis is not a major public health problem, it can be a cause of parental anxiety, social embarrassment, and unnecessary absenteeism from studies.
TC  is a fungal infection of the scalp, hair follicles, and hair shafts. The highest incidence was seen in 3–7 years' age group. TC can present as inflammatory or noninflammatory variants. An early diagnosis is needed to prevent transmission between children and to prevent scarring. A slight female preponderance was seen, with females forming 52% of the noninflammatory cases (55.5%), which was more common than inflammatory cases (33.7). Mixed pattern was seen in 9.5% of the hair roots, which were examined under 10% KOH mount. Endothrix pattern was observed in 43.5% of the cases. Ectothrix pattern was observed in 30.7% of the cases. Both were found in 7.8% of the cases.
Alopecia areata is a chronic inflammatory disorder, characterized by a T-cell autoimmune-mediated attack on the hair follicle. About one-third of the cases identified as alopecia areata are from pediatric age group. Pediatric alopecia areata was associated with atopy, nail changes, and family history. Various types of alopecia areata in pediatric age group with their frequency were shown in [Chart 3].
Pityriasis capitis, telogen effluvium, premature piebaldism [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3] graying of hair, and trichotillomania  [Figure 4]a and [Figure 4]b are of concern in this group. Pityriasis capitis is mainly found in children >10 years. Telogen effluvium was more common in females. Mean age of presentation was around 8 years. The most common cause was high-grade fever and frequent illnesses. Trichotillomania was another form of patchy hair loss with female preponderance, and the mean age was 10 years.
|Figure 4: (a) Trichotillomania before treatment, (b) trichotillomania after treatment|
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| Conclusions|| |
Hair loss in children is a common complaint  in dermatology clinics, and it is considered a challenge for dermatologists and pediatricians for reaching a proper diagnosis and therapy. In addition, this is an annoying problem for parents who worry about their children. Early management is needed, as it has an effect on normal physical and mental growth of children.
There are few studies investigating the common and uncommon causes of pediatric hair disorders. Specific environmental and cultural factors  may reflect itself on the prevalence of specific types of hair disorders.
Hair disorders in children in this study are primarily infectious in origin which can be prevented and cured completely when properly diagnosed and treated. Improvement of the standard of living has a profound effect on these disorders.
Declaration of Patient Consent
The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.
Financial Support and Sponsorship
Conflicts of Interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]