Alopecia Areata and Bullying in Children

Bullying, Teasing in Children with AA

bullying AA

There are many challenges to losing hair at any age. Children with hair loss experience teasing and bullying which may affect their self-esteem and emotional development and in turn affects many aspects of their lives. 
Bullying and teasing is a frequent topic I discuss with parents and children with hair loss, especially alopecia areata. We discuss ways to cope, educate others, and recognize that we are all different in some way or another.

Bullying in children with alopecia areata was recently studied by Christensen and colleagues. The US authors examined the prevalence of bullying and the emotional impact of AA in children. The study found that bullying was common overall. In addition, there was additional psychological impact with impairment of social and home life being common. Children with alopecia experienced bullying across all age groups studied. Boys reported increased physical bullying. I was interested to note that children and teens with more severe disease and longer duration of disease experienced less bullying than those with less severe disease.


Bullying and Quality of Life in Pediatric Alopecia Areata.
Christensen T, et al. Skin Appendage Disord. 2017.

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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