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Understanding Alopecia Areata in Children

Alopecia Areata in Children: Is It Inherited?

It is possible, but not likely, for alopecia areata to be inherited. Most children with alopecia areata do not have a parent with the disease, and the vast majority of parents with alopecia areata do not pass the disease on to their children.
Alopecia areata research scientists believe that there may be a number of genes that predispose certain people to the disease. But, it is highly unlikely that a child would inherit all of the genes that are needed to predispose him or her to the disease.
Even if a child inherits the right (or wrong) combination of genes, he or she may not develop alopecia areata. In cases of identical twins who share all of the same genes, one twin may have alopecia areata while the other twin only has a 55% chance of having alopecia areata. This shows that other factors besides genetics are required to cause the disease.
If you have alopecia areata, your child has a slightly higher risk of developing alopecia areata too. Overall, 1 in 5 people with alopecia areata will have a family member who has alopecia areata as well.

Treatment for Alopecia Areata in Children

There is no cure for alopecia areata in children and there are no medications that are approved for alopecia areata treatment. However, doctors may prescribe medications that are approved for other diseases to help hair grow back. Treatment options for alopecia areata in children usually involve an ointment or cream (topical medicine). The topical medicines most often used for alopecia in children include: corticosteroids and minoxidil.
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Understanding Alopecia Areata

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