Year: 2010

What to do?

What to do?

The number one question I get that is negative has to do about hats and wigs. Many people think I am against them, I am not. What I am against is using them as a security blanket or a crutch without trying to build self-esteem. CAP is about building self-esteem and if a child lacks in the basics of self-esteem without a cover, they still have a low self-esteem with cover. At times I have debated this and I give these two simple examples. If another child would steal the hat or wig off your child’s head what would their reaction be? Would your child chase after the bully to get it back and cover up or would they put there hands over their head and slink away in embarrassment? How about the wind blowing it off their head? Would they scramble to recover it or would they just walk over, not in a tizzy and simply pick it up, dust it off and put it back on their head? When the bully is running away with the wig or hat wouldn’t you want them to stand, stare and say in amazement, “I need my wig back when you are done having your fun or I am telling the teacher.”

Hats, wigs, bandannas and anything else used as an accessory is great for a kid or adult with alopecia. I just would like to help build their self-esteem so they never feel as if they need to cover up. By covering it up you are enabling your child to ignore what is going on and setting them up to feel bad when the wind blows or the bully in the class gets sticky fingers.

If you feel your child would not handle these situations well or you feel like you have been pushing the hats or wigs you are not alone. When my daughter first started to lose her hair we got her wigs, hats and bandannas on a normal basis. We turned her into a hat junkie and me and Betsy were the pushers! This lasted until one day where wearing a hat would not work because of a costume she had to wear in a play, she said, “I never wanted to wear these stupid hats!” Right there we knew we were wrong, we never asked her if she wanted the hats or cared about her self-esteem, only that she had the items to cover up so not to be stared at or even made fun of.

We all want to protect our children so please know that I understand where you are coming from, I was there once. I just want you to know that CAP is here to help.

If you need help or direction let me know, we will do whatever we can to help!

Jeff Woytovich, Founder
Children’s Alopecia Project

Some Practical info from NIH and CAP!

Some Practical info from NIH and CAP!

What Is Alopecia Areata?

Alopecia areata is a disease that affects the hair follicles, which are part of the skin from which hairs grow. In most cases, hair falls out in small, round patches about the size of a quarter. Many people with the disease get only a few bare patches. Some people may lose more hair. Rarely, the disease causes total loss of hair on the head or complete loss of hair on the head, face, and body.

Who Gets Alopecia Areata?

Anyone can have alopecia areata. It often begins in childhood. There is a slightly increased risk of having the disease if you have a close family member with the disease.

What Causes Alopecia Areata?

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease. Normally the immune system protects the body against infection and disease. In an autoimmune disease, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks some part of your own body. In alopecia areata, the immune system attacks the hair follicles.

The cause is not known. Scientists think that a person’s genes may play a role. For people whose genes put them at risk for the disease, some type of trigger starts the attack on the hair follicles. The triggers may be a virus or something in the person’s environment.

Will My Hair Ever Grow Back?

There is every chance that your hair will grow back, but it may fall out again. No one can tell you when it might fall out or grow back. You may lose more hair, or your hair loss may stop. The hair you have lost may or may not grow back. Even a person who has lost all of his hair may grow all of his hair back. The disease varies from person to person.

How Will Alopecia Areata Affect My Life?

Alopecia areata does not make you feel pain and does not make you feel sick. You can’t give it to others. People who have the disease are, for the most part, healthy in other ways. Alopecia areata will not shorten your life, and it should not affect activities such as going to school, working, marrying, raising a family, playing sports, and exercising.

How Can I Cope With the Effects of This Disease

Living with hair loss can be hard. There are many things you can do to cope with the effects of this disease, including:

•Learning as much as you can about the disease.

•Talking with others who are dealing with the disease.

•Learning to value yourself for who you are, not for how much hair you have or don’t have.

•Talking with a counselor, if necessary, to help build a positive self-image.

Here are some things you can use to reduce the physical dangers or discomforts of lost hair:

•Use sunscreens for the scalp, face, and all exposed skin.

•Wear eyeglasses (or sunglasses) to protect eyes from sun, and from dust and debris, when eyebrows or eyelashes are missing.

•Wear wigs, caps, or scarves to protect the scalp from the sun and keep the head warm.

•Apply antibiotic ointment inside the nostrils to help keep germs out of the nose when nostril hair is missing.

Here are some things you can do to reduce the disease’s effects on your looks:

•Try wearing a wig, hairpiece, scarf, or cap.

•Use a hair-colored powder, cream, or crayon applied to the scalp for small patches of hair loss to make the hair loss less obvious.

•Use an eyebrow pencil to mask missing eyebrows.