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Psychosocial Comorbidities in patients with pediatric alopecia areata: A Literature Review.

BACKGROUND: Alopecia areata (AA), a chronic autoimmune disorder causing non-scarring hair loss, has a greater prevalence in the pediatric population. Like many visible dermatologic disorders, AA can cause significant psychosocial impairment, particularly in children who are undergoing critical periods of psychosocial development. This paper investigates the psychosocial impact of AA on children.

METHODS: A systematic review was conducted using PRISMA guidelines. SCOPUS and PubMed databases were utilized with the terms "alopecia areata," "pediatric," and "psychosocial comorbidities." 12 articles were reviewed, with 6 meeting inclusion criteria for detailed analysis.

RESULTS: The review revealed prominent associations between AA and psychosocial comorbidities in children. Psychiatric conditions including anxiety, depression, and OCD, were prevalent in pediatric AA patients, with exacerbation due to increased disease severity. These negatively impacted the Quality of Life (QoL) in affected children. Additionally, the comorbidities extended beyond psychiatric diagnoses, impacting self-esteem, academic performance, peer relationships, and body image satisfaction in children.

CONCLUSION: This literature review highlights the significant impact of various psychosocial comorbidities in children with AA, emphasizing the need for early identification and intervention. Healthcare professionals, including psychiatrists, therapists, and dermatologists, can play a significant role in treating pediatric patients with AA. Dermatologists can play a critical role in diagnosing AA and identifying psychosocial comorbidities that may arise and refer patients to appropriate care. Future research should focus on elucidating effective screening tools for dermatologists to identify these comorbidities early, ultimately improving the overall well-being of children with AA.

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