Children with Alopecia Day is celebrated annually on April 14. Yes — this is the very ailment Will Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith is suffering from, which Chris Rock made fun of at the Oscars and which led to his being hit by Will Smith on stage, in front of millions of viewers. Before the slap-gate scandal, you may not have heard of alopecia. It is an autoimmune disease that causes baldness or bald spots on the scalp. In some cases, it also leads to a loss of body hair in other areas, including eyebrows and eyelashes. This year, let’s join hands to raise awareness about the disease and put an end to the stigma suffered by children who live with it.
History of Children with Alopecia Day
Children with Alopecia Day is a project initiated by the Children’s Alopecia Project (CAP) to raise awareness about children suffering from various forms of alopecia. Although the disease may emerge at a later stage in life, it often starts to develop during childhood or teen years.
Here is what Alopecia does to the body: Since it is an auto-immune disease, it causes the cells in the human body’s immune system to attack hair follicles. This leads to a loss of hair in certain areas of the body. However, the amount of hair one loses depends on the type of alopecia one has: Alopecia Totalis causes one to lose the entire hair on one’s scalp. Alopecia Areata is known to cause bald patches on the head and other body parts. Alopecia Universalis is an advanced state that causes one to lose hair on the scalp, the face, and the rest of the body. Whichever stage of Alopecia one has, being ridiculed by those around them is quite common — especially among young children, where victims are relentlessly bullied by peers. Sadly, alopecia cannot be cured, but many affected by the disease may be able to regrow their hair.
According to Jeff Woytovich, the founder of the CAP project, the program was created to support children who are facing hair loss problems due to alopecia. He believes it is essential to shift the focus of the project from ‘growing hair’ to ‘building self-esteem and confidence.’
Children with Alopecia Day timeline
Celsus describes alopecia as the ‘windings of a snake’ on the scalp.
Polish physician John Johnston uses the term ‘alopecia’ in a book for the first time.
A clinical description of alopecia is noted by the medical community.
French dermatologist and mycologist Raymond Sabouraud studies 200 cases of alopecia.
Children with Alopecia Day FAQs
Is there an alopecia day?
Yes. August 7 is International Alopecia Day.
The lack of which vitamin causes hair loss?
Iron deficiency is known to cause hair loss.
What could cause hair loss in a child?
Common causes include fungal or bacterial infections, telogen effluvium, and traction alopecia.
How to Observe Children with Alopecia Day
Visit an alopecia center
To find out about the impact of alopecia on children and adults, visit an alopecia treatment center. Discover how the disease affects the patients’ everyday life.
Donate to help those who can’t afford treatment
While the disease isn’t life-threatening, it certainly leaves a psychological impact on the individuals suffering from it. This year, donate to those who are unable to afford treatment.
Create awareness by talking about it
Millions of people across the globe still have no idea what alopecia is and how the ailment affects people. Share the information with your network of social media followers and friends.
5 Interesting Facts About Alopecia
It’s a ‘friendly-fire disease’
Alopecia is about your body’s immune system mistakenly targeting healthy cells — hair follicles.
Alopecia in the U.S.
Approximately 6.8 million people in the U.S. have alopecia.
Alopecia in the world
147 million people worldwide have alopecia areata or will get it at some point in their lives.
Lab tests aren’t required to detect alopecia.
Aside from hair loss, alopecia areata doesn't cause headaches, irritation, or other symptoms.
Why Children with Alopecia Day is Important
It spreads awareness about alopecia
Millions suffer from a relatively unknown disease. This holiday aims to get more people sensitized about alopecia and how it can affect individuals.
It gets children the help they deserve
The day encourages events that spread awareness and drive donations and initiatives that may help children living with the disease get the support they need. For instance, a child suffering from hair loss due to the disease can afford medications such as for rapid hair regrowth.
It boosts the victims’ mental health
Many children living with alopecia suffer abuse from peers. With this holiday, we demonstrate our support for these children and thus boost their confidence and self-esteem.
Children with Alopecia Day dates