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Causes and treatment for graying of hair in a baby?

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Hello Sir,
My son is currently 15 months old and recently we have noticed that he has 5-6 grey hairs. He has become a very fussy eater and loves to drink only milk and refuses to have solids.I would like to know what can be the cause of such early greying of hairs. Does he have any internal problems? Is this curable? Please kindly suggest the kind of food I should give him so that he receives the right amount of nutrition

Category: Pediatrician

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Category: ICU/ Critical Care Specialist
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Dear Parent,

Your description is of concern. Grey hairs (depigmented hairs) are not only due to ageing. They can be due to a deficiency of normal pigments that give our hair their natural colour. It is called melanin. Depigmented hair in children can be insignificant if it is involving only few hair strands. It is significant if the following points are present:

1. Depigmented hair involving a large proportion of hair follicles.

2. Involvement of the eyelashes.

3. Association with depigmented (whitish) patches of skin.

4. Specific distribution of depigmented hair - Eg: only in the anterior aspect/ white forelock - seen in certain syndromes (Waardenberg syndrome)



Kindly let me know if your child has any of the following. If not, there is no need to worry. Some paediatricians would recommend healthy nutrition and micronutrient supplementation to such children. But, there is no evidence to either prove or disprove its efficacy. 



Secondly, regarding your child's dietary habits, it is a very common complaint from parents of toddlers, who have significant feeding-related issues. Most infants lose their baby fat during the late infancy and second year. Parents usually get the impression that their child is not thriving well during this period. I believe that if a child is otherwise well, active and gaining his milestones, you can wait, let him regulate his diet. Remember to include in his diet a variety of fruits, vegetables and pulses. This will provide him with all the micronutrients that he needs. He needs to be kept away from junk foods including soft drinks, chips, pizzas, burgers, etc. Try to ensure that he drinks plenty of fluids



As he moves through these crucial years, he is going to programme into his brain, food habits and preferences that are going to last a lifetime. At this crucial juncture, rather than forcing things down his throat, he should be exposed to a wide variety of healthy solid feeds. This would help him make wise food choices and grow into a healthy toddler. 



I hope this was helpful. Let me know if you have any other queries.



Regards,

Dr. Saptharishi L G,



Consultant Paediatrician.



Dr. Saptharishi L G
Category: ICU/ Critical Care Specialist
Experience: 
Senior Residency: DM,  Pediatric Critical Care, PGIMER

Residency: MD, Pediatrics, Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, 2013

Internship: JIPMER, 2009

Medical School: MBBS, Jawaharlal Institute of Post-graduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, 2008
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