Alopecia (Hair Loss), Pediatric

Hope Rhodes and Terry Kind Reviewed 06/2017



  • Absence of hair where it normally grows

  • Categorized as acquired or congenital

    • Most cases are acquired: Tinea capitis is most common, followed by traumatic alopecia and alopecia areata.

  • ...


Differential Diagnosis

Consider the most likely diagnoses first. 
  • Infectious

    • Tinea capitis

    • Varicella

    • Syphilis

  • Congenital

    • Aplasia cutis congenita

    • Incontinentia pigmenti

    • Oculomandibulofacial syndrome (...



First Line

  • For tinea capitis: microsize griseofulvin 20–25 mg/kg/24 h (maximum 1 g) or ultramicrosize griseofulvin 10–15 mg/kg/24 h (maximum 750 mg) orally once per day for 4–6 week...

Ongoing Care


  • Tinea capitis, alopecia areata, and traction alopecia

    • Hair will regrow, may take months.

    • There is a poorer prognosis with alopecia universalis. <10% have full recovery.

  • Telogen e...

Additional Reading

  • Alkhalifah  A, Alsantali  A, Wang  E, et al. Alopecia areata update. J Am Acad Dermatol.  2010;62(2):177–188, 191–202.

  • Food and Drug Administration. Consumer updates: Lamisil ap...



  • 704.00 Alopecia, unspecified

  • 110.0 Dermatophytosis of scalp and beard

  • 704.01 Alopecia areata

  • 704.09 Other alopecia

  • 757.4 Specified anomalies of hair

  • 312.39 Other disorders of impulse control



  • Q: When can children with tinea capitis return to school?

  • A: Once treatment with a systemic antifungal has begun, the child may return to school. A topical shampoo such as selenium sulfide or ketoc...

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