The doctor called an unexpected consequence of stress during pregnancy

Gray hair in children is a rather rare pathology, but it still occurs. The causes of gray hair can be both heredity and malfunction of any organ or system.

So, if the child’s parents are carriers of the albinism gene, then the baby will inherit this feature and change the hair color to gray at an early age. In this case, it is irreversible.

But most often, with premature gray hair, the child’s body signals a lack of vitamins or minerals, when replenishing which the baby’s hair will turn red again over time.»

Melanin is responsible for hair color. It is a pigment that is produced under the control of the pituitary gland in melanocyte cells. And they start working even before the baby is born.

The color depends on the content of pigments derived from melanin — eumelanin (black-brown), pheomelanin (yellow-red), triochrome (red) and ossimelanin (light colors). The combination of them gives each person their own unique hair color.

The color saturation depends on how much melanin enters each hair bulb. And its amount, in turn, depends on the production of thyroid hormones and sex hormones. The sympathetic nervous system is also involved in the production of melanin.

Our expert explains: 5-7 gray hairs in a newborn do not indicate pathology. To talk about hereditary gray hair, it is necessary that a child from birth has melanin 30-50% less than normal. Such a crumb will be born already partially gray, with a silver or white-yellow shade of hair.

But even single hairs make it clear that the pregnancy did not proceed very smoothly. Among the causes of gray hair in the baby, the doctor calls first of all the stress of the mother during pregnancy and on the eve of childbirth.

«Frequent stressful situations provoke hormonal surges of adrenaline and cortisol, which can enter the milk and the baby’s body, causing hormonal failure,» explains the doctor. — The synthesis of melatonin is disrupted, as a result of which the child begins to turn gray. In addition, the cause of the baby’s early gray hair may be insufficient nutrition of the mother during pregnancy or after childbirth, and, as a result, vitamin deficiency and vitamin B12 deficiency.»

Other causes of infant gray hair can be severe childbirth and diseases of the baby in the early neonatal period — these are the first 28 days of his life.

The doctor called an unexpected consequence of stress during pregnancy

As the child grows up, his body depends less and less on the health of his mother. And here the causes of gray hair should be looked for in him and in the environment around him — it greatly affects children, especially babies up to a year old.

So, the synthesis of melatonin of the baby is disrupted by his frequent tearfulness, screams and tantrums. Because of them, air bubbles appear in the cortical part of the hair follicles, which «do not let» the pigment into the hair in the right volume.

As a rule, after recovery, the hair color is completely restored, special treatment is not required in this case.»

The older the child, the more opportunities there are for the growth of gray hair. And this is largely due to the modern rhythm of life. So, for example, if a preschooler or a schoolboy is often nervous, worried or goes in for sports and has heavy workouts, this can also cause gray hair: stress hormones — adrenaline and cortisol — «do not let» pigment into the hair.

In addition, the reason may be a lack of vitamins — folic acid, folate (vitamin B9, Bc), para aminobenzoic acid (vitamin B10), vitamin B12.

And in a teenager, the appearance of gray hair may indicate a hormonal imbalance: a deficiency of estrogen and an overabundance of testosterone, a lack of thyroid hormones.

Diseases associated with children’s gray hair
Congenital dysfunction of the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, pituitary gland. In this case, the treatment consists in correcting the hormonal imbalance in the child.

Vitiligo is the loss of pigment on certain areas of the skin and hair. Gray hair appears where there is no melanin.

Albinism is a complete absence of melanin from birth. In this case, not only the hair suffers. Such a child has pale skin, white or yellow-white eyebrows and excessively red mucous membrane.

Shingles, iron deficiency anemia and hypothyroidism can manifest as local graying of hair bundles.

In endocrine, nervous and mental diseases, the level of copper, which is involved in the synthesis of collagen and melanin, may decrease. Then the hair will be sparse, dull and possibly gray.

Gray hair in children is not always a sign of a serious illness. In children with light or brown hair, strands can burn out strongly in the sun.

Is it treatable?
As a rule, yes. But they will not treat the gray hair itself, but its cause.

«For example, vitamin deficiency and anemia are compensated by adjusting nutrition and taking medications, for example, tablet form of iron,» says our expert. — The diet should include fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy and fermented milk products, eggs, poultry and fish.»

Mesotherapy is already recommended for adolescents over 16 years of age — when trace elements and vitamins are injected directly into the scalp with a thin needle. In severe cases, with the permission of a doctor, the procedure is carried out for younger children.

The doctor called an unexpected consequence of stress during pregnancy

What not to do when gray hair appears
Completely cut them, especially in children under 2-3 years old. This will not improve hair growth and will not solve the problem.

Dye and tone your hair. Until the age of 18, this is in principle undesirable — ammonia, dyes and preservatives can cause allergies and inflammation of the scalp, and an oxidizer can damage hair follicles and aggravate the process.

Independently treat gray hair, if the cause is not identified. Most vitamins and medicines, if the dosage is calculated incorrectly, will be toxic to children. First you need to pass tests, be fully examined, visit a trichologist and a dermatologist. And only after that, if necessary, a therapy regimen will be prescribed.

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