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Noticed localized hair loss in a child. Could it be cancer or alopecia?

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Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 2015 Questions
my son is a happy go lucky 10 year old healthy boy...however..this morning he has woken up and a tennis ball diameter size clump of hair has fallen out from one side of his wife is in bits and crying thinking its cancer..?? i am assuming its a form of alopecia ..he doesnt suffer from stress i say he is a normal happy active lad...i am hoping you can enlighten me so i can calm my wife down for a start and obviously stop myself worrying...?? thankyou...XXXXXXX
Posted Wed, 27 Feb 2013 in Hair Loss
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 22 minutes later
Thanks for writing to us.
Firstly I would like to reassure you both that it is not at all a cancer.
From the description, it seems like he is having alopecia areata.

It is an autoimmune disease characterised by oval round shiny patches of hair loss which may occur suddenly sometimes overnight or may be over a period of few days. It usually resolves spontaneously in few months however sometimes disease may progress from a single patch of hair loss to multiple patches to involve the whole scalp or other hairy parts of body.

To treat the same, application of a potent steroid cream or lotion along with minoxidil 5 percent solution would help. As these are prescription drugs, a consultation with a dermatologist prior to starting the therapy is mandatory.

Hope that answers your query. Should there be further query, feel free to doubt back.
Take care.
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