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Irish dancing wigs may cause hair loss
[Posted: Tue 27/09/2011 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]
The use of extravagant wigs with ringlets has become common place in the world of Irish dancing. However, doctors have warned that pinning these wigs onto young dancers may cause a type of permanent alopecia (hair loss).
Traction alopecia occurs when there is chronic traction or pulling on the hair follicle. It is often associated with certain hairstyles, such as tight braiding. However, traction alopecia over a period of time can lead to scarring alopecia. This refers to a condition where the hair follicle is destroyed and replaced with scar tissue, causing permanent hair loss.
According to dermatology registrar, Dr Sally Jane O ‘Shea and consultant dermatologist, Dr Aoife Lally, of St Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin, scarring alopecia is a ‘common presentation to the dermatology outpatient clinic'.
However one unusual case in particular caused the doctors to urge young Irish dancers to consider the possible consequences of regularly pinning wigs to their heads.
They described a 16-year-old girl who presented to them with a history of hair loss dating back three years. Originally, the girl had found two distinct patches of hair loss on her head, but the hair had grown back within two months.
A year later, she noticed that the same areas were again affected by hair loss, but again, the hair grew back. She was then referred to the dermatology clinic after a third bout of hair loss.
The doctors found two small patches of scarring alopecia on her head. However, the rest of her scalp was normal and there was no family history of alopecia.
On further investigation, the doctors discovered that the teenager was ‘an avid Irish dancer'.
They said that it soon became evident that the recurrence of the patient's hair loss coincided with the annual national Irish dancing competitions.
"The sites of alopecia corresponded to those to which a wig, worn as part of her costume, had been fixed with hair clips," the doctors noted.
They concluded that the girl had developed traction alopecia as a result of this hair pinning, which had eventually developed into scarring alopecia.
"Although initial hair loss is non-scarring, with repeated trauma, scarring alopecia may develop, which is similar to the clinical history of our patient," the doctors said.
They added that this unusual case ‘should be considered in patients of this age with similar interests'.
Details of this case appear in the journal, Hospital Doctor of Ireland, published by MedMedia.
|Anonymous Posted: 03/10/2011 14:37|
Pinning wigs on children for what is supposed to to be a harmless pastime - ridiculous.
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