Dermatologists refer to the condition of no hair development as hypotrichosis. Hypotrichosis depicts a condition where there was never any hair development, as contrast to alopecia, which describes hair loss when previously there was hair growth. Therefore, hypotrichoses (plural) are conditions that afflict people from birth and typically persist throughout their life. The majority of hypotrichoses are caused by problems in embryonic development or genetic anomalies. Genetic hypotrichoses come in hundreds of different varieties. Affected people frequently experience additional medical or emotional issues in addition to hair loss.
The symptom of hypotrichosis can be present in a variety of conditions, including Graham-Little syndrome, cartilage-hair hypoplasia, Ofuji syndrome, Marie Unna hypotrichosis, Jeanselme and Rime hypotrichosis and metaphyseal chondrodysplasia, among many others. With our knowledge of the human genome quickly advancing, we are beginning to grasp why and how genetic abnormalities result in hair loss and other symptoms. Although we may comprehend the genetics and biochemistry of hypotrichoses, it is quite challenging to cure them. The majority of hypotrichosis-related illnesses have no known cures.
Types of congenital hypotrichosis
There are a few different types of hypotrichosis that are worth discussing, either due to the fact that they are somewhat prevalent or because they are fascinating in terms of gaining an understanding of hair follicles. Here are some examples of congenital hypotrichosis.
Aplasia cutis congenita, also known as congenital aplasia, is a developmental disorder in which an embryo’s skin does not completely form as it develops. The underlying cause of this condition is unknown. A newborn could have a spot on their skin that looks like an open wound or an ulcer when they are born. The rear of the scalp, namely the core of the “whorl pattern” of hair development, is where this problem most frequently manifests itself. The skin will scab up and the kid will be left with a scar if the defect is even moderately significant.
Sometimes this takes place while the baby is still in the mother’s womb, and all that is visible at birth is a section of the scalp that is devoid of hair follicles. On the other hand, if a newborn is born with a big congenital aplasia, it is typically necessary to do surgery in order to remove the damaged area and stitch the skin back together. Because an open wound presents the risk of both bleeding and infection, this procedure is frequently performed with a sense of urgency. The sooner the blemish is able to cure, the better.
Alopecia triangularis, often known as triangular alopecia, is a disease that is very similar to congenital aplasia. It is typically noticeable from birth and typically affects a triangular patch of skin and hair located above the temples. There are a few persons whose skin does not produce hair follicles in this region for reasons that are not fully understood. Although infants are not born with open sores as they are in cases of aplasia cutis congenita, the long-term effect is very similar: bald patches on the scalp where hair does not grow. The damaged region can either be surgically removed or replaced with hair follicles extracted from another part of the scalp, or it can be left alone.
Congenital atrichia, also known as papular atrichia, is a disorder that is distinct in terms of the pattern of hair loss. It was the first human hair loss disorder that researchers identified as being caused by a deficiency in a single gene. In spite of the fact that the condition is frequently referred to as hypotrichosis, this is not an accurate description of it. Individuals who have congenital atrichia have the same potential to be born with a full head of hair as any other newborn does. However, when they are very young, they lose all of their hair, and it never grows back.
Modified keratinocytes and modified fibroblasts, also known as dermal papilla cells, are the two fundamental cell types that are essential to the development of normal hair follicles. Keratinocytes are responsible for the formation of the skin’s outermost epithelium. These two cell types need to “speak” to each other through the exchange of biochemical signals in order for hair development and hair cycling to take place normally. In order to keep the process moving forward, the cells need to maintain close proximity to one another. If one cell population does not get signals from the other cell population, it will not be able to grow hair.
Causes of the disease and the symptoms that are related with it
Due to the fact that a genetic anomaly is the underlying cause of the ailment, it is possible to identify the condition using a combination of self-diagnosis and regular medical checkups:
- Since a genetic predisposition is responsible for the hair loss, there is a chance that your children will also experience this condition.
- The child will not show any sign of hair growth on their head, eyebrows, or skin from the moment of delivery until the latter stages of their life. This includes all periods of life. Or, in the case of triangular alopecia, the abnormal hair loss that the kid experiences within the first year of birth.
- The illness can also be identified during a woman’s pregnancy, when ultrasounds and blood testing can predict whether or not a foetus will have good skin and how much it will grow.
- A patch on the skull of the foetus that has abnormal growth of skin ulcers and wounds can be used to detect a case of congenital aplasia, also known as congenital aplasia cutis.
- In some instances, such as Triangular Alopecia and Congenital Atrichia, your general paediatrician or gynaecologist can detect aberrant hair growth by detecting the mechanism of hair follicles through MRI scans. This is the case in both of these conditions.
How often does it happen to a child?
The worldwide incidence of this genetic anomaly is believed to be 1 in 10,000 people if we are talking about isolated families with no prior medical history or family history of the same.
Does it only affect babies and young children?
Given that the underlying genetic predispositions are established during pregnancy, congenital hypotrichosis may persist throughout adulthood. Animals such as dogs, cats, and even horses also have this genetic anomaly, which has long been thought to affect exclusively humans. This might be represented by a small bald spot or an entire body.
Does congenital hypotrichosis have a treatment?
Congenital hypotrichosis is a genetic default, and researchers and scientists are still looking for a solution. Even if the illness doesn’t have a cure, the ailments that are related with it can easily be healed if you take the proper precautions and get checked out early. In the event that a patient has a condition that affects their skin, they are instructed to wear a head covering in advance to shield their scalp from the microorganisms and ultraviolet rays found in the environment.
Counseling or connecting with a support group may be able to help individuals overcome the psychological concerns connected with baldness. Support groups are intimate get-togethers of people who suffer from a variety of mental health conditions and may or may not have the same issues. Also, the patient’s friends and family need to make them feel comfortable and wanted, as hair loss can, in most situations, cause an individual to become reclusive and hindered in their social abilities.
Can Congenital Hypotrichosis be cured with a healthy lifestyle?
Although adopting a healthy lifestyle is never a bad idea, it cannot fix a person’s underlying genetic predispositions. The patient’s immune system will strengthen as a result, making it easier to deal with the psychological and physical impacts of the irreversible hair loss. Regular exercise and massaging the scalp helps improve circulation to the bald spot, making it less susceptible to infection and burns. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight and avoid diseases associated with being overweight. Maintaining healthy blood through nutrition may also contribute to overall health and vitality. A physicist can help you maintain the appropriate balance of hormones for your needs.