My 10 year old has had a couple of good years with minimal hairloss, but he has a few scheduled vaccines in the next year or two. Canadian healthcare schedule.
hepatitis B, HPV, Meningitis are this year, Tetatus/diptheria/accelular pertussis are in a 2023.
He's up to date on vaccines but they were given at a time when he was experiencing more severe hair loss.
Is there any correlations for or against these types of vaccines triggering an outbreak? I know if you google enough you'll find a correlation for everything, but some personal anecdotes give a bit more context.
Hi. I was pretty sure vaccines (or at least the annual flu shot) were causing my 8 year-old son’s alopecia. He would get his vaccines in the fall and his hair would fall out within a couple to a few months. It would then start to grow back in the spring. So I started to think it was vaccines. He did not get his flu shot last fall and his hair didn’t fall out in the winter or spring like it usually would. Then, over the last few weeks, it has started coming out again so I now am wondering if maybe they weren’t the culprit.
Is it more important for a child to have hair, or to be protected against diseases that can kill him or her? That would be my concern.
BOTH are important. Mental health is just as important as physical health. It's rare for a healthy 10-year-old boy to die from the flu. But, for the most part, I would favor the vaccines over the hair loss problem. It's just too bad that at this point in time, we do not have adequate treatment for alopecia areata. But I am sure when treatment does become available, Big Pharma will make sure the price tag is out of reach, and our insurance companies will deem the treatment as "medically unnecessary."
I agree with what you said that mental health is just as important and it can kill you if your mental deteriates over it.
I agree about big Pharma. I really can't believe there hasn't been more options and research into autoimmune disorders. I have had alopecia for 45 years and my sister for 60 and there really isn't anything different in 60 years!
Actually, Jennifer, it is infuriating that after all this time, we do not have more effective treatments (possibly even a cure). First of all, hair is NOT cosmetic! Our society has made it "cosmetic". Hair is a protectorate. Alopecia Universalis robs you of all body hair, including nose and ear hairs, allowing germs to more easily invade the body. Scalp hair helps to regulate body temperature; eyelashes and eyebrows protect our eyes from sweat, dirt and debris (sparing us scratched corneas, broken blood vessels, blinded by sweat when driving a car, etc.). Having no body hair means having no protections from the elements (debris, particulates, etc.) leaving us much more prone to skin irritations. It also dries up skin oil, leaving our skin dry and prone to cracking and splitting. So the next time, some idiot tells you it, "It's only hair", tell them to go back to high school biology.
Forgot to add that keeping your fingernails clean when you have AU is very difficult. Your nails have splits and ridges on them, and underneath the nail, the dirt gets trapped in those openings, and you cannot remove it easily--even with a scrubbing nail brush. More places for germs and bacteria to hide, right?
I agree with you Sabine - it is NOT cosmetic - it is an organ (many small organs). If any other organ was failing, there would be an intervention. Losing hair from an alopecia is a signal something is not right. A body shouldn't lose all the protective function that you pointed out (unless through evolutionary reasons where they become unnecessary).
Some genetic research shows alopecias are related to T1 diabetes - an interesting connection.
I suspect that there could be a cure or intervention, but it will involve immunotherapy that will be costly to insurance (some data points to stem cell transplant for auto immune cures). As long as they can keep alopecias labeled as 'cosmetic' they will not have to pay for these treatments. We should fight to have this recognized as not-cosmetic and as functional loss; and change the messaging. Mental health discussion (along with identity) should also be included as a valid concern!
Of course it’s not more important, but his pediatrician actually recommended we skip the flu shot last year and see if there is a correlation. She said that because he’s had the shot every year of his life, there is residual protection against the flu. Plus he was wearing a mask wherever he went so it was a good year to skip it.