Our largest number of children live with alopecia. Alopecia is an auto-immune disorder that causes the hair follicles to shut down. This disease has varying degrees and affects 4.7 million people in the United States alone. Alopecia areata affects both sexes equally and may, but does not always, progress to significant hair loss. Currently, there is no known cause or cure for alopecia. The degrees of alopecia are as follows:
- Alopecia Areata Ophiasis-loss in bands along the scalp margins
- Alopecia Areata Sisaipho-loss of all scalp hair except along the scalp margins
- Alopecia Totalis-loss of all scalp hair
- Alopecia Universalis-loss of all scalp and body hair
Cancer constitutes the second highest percentage of our recipients. Every year approximately 2,200 children under age 20 are diagnosed with brain tumors. Radiation treatment to the brain stem as a treatment for cancer can cause permanent hair loss. Chemotherapy may also cause hair loss to be long-term depending on the length of treatment needed.
Other causes of hair loss account for a small percentage of our recipients.
- Ectodermal Dysplasia-A heritable disorder that affects the formation of the ectoderm. Extremely sparse hair can be a result of ectoderm abnormality.
- Loose Anagen Syndrome-An abnormality where hair is thin and normally does not grow beyond the nape of the neck.
- Trichotillomania-Compulsive and repetitive hair pulling.
- Telogen Effluvium-Diffuse but excessive shedding related to sudden stress.
- Trauma-burns, accidents, dog attacks, etc.