Monday, February 1, 2010
Medical Reports: Balding Breakthrough
When you think of hair loss you don't normally think about children and teenagers, but some kids endure some sort of trauma or early hair loss that can be devastating. 7's Richard Lemus shows us a new balding breakthrough that's easy and painless even for younger patients.
WSVN -- Eleven-year-old Chris Liotta never felt like he stood out from other kids until he reached middle school this year.
Chris Liotta: "When I was little I never really noticed it, no one really said anything."
Chris was born with a rare birth mark, this large bald spot in the back of his head.
Patti Liotta, Chris' mom: "I think it was the third day of middle school he asked me for a mirror, and I didn't realize why he was asking. He saw it, and he was crying and hysterical."
The kids at school teased him so much that he and his mother worked every morning to camouflage the bald spot.
Chris Liotta: "Most kids would say like, 'Oh you got a bald spot on your head.' I would say yeah it's a birthmark and they would just laugh about it. I felt sad."
Patti Liotta: "Him coming home each day crying about it and just being teased. It was just heart-wrenching."
Hair loss usually strikes adults, but it can affect children and teenagers too. It's usually caused by some sort of accident but it can happen prematurely too.
Dr. Alan Baumann, Board Certified Hair Restoration Physician: "More and more I'm seeing younger patients, patients in their teenage years showing signs of hair loss."
Hair restoration doctor, Alan Baumann, is now using a new device called the Neograft to transplant hair easily and painlessly for adults and kids.
Dr. Alan Baumann: "Instead of using a scalpel or stitches in the back of the scalp invasively to harvest hair, the Neograft allows us to pluck literally individual hair follicles almost undetectable from the back of the scalp."
Once those follicles have been harvested they'll be implanted into the thinning or bald spots where they will grow permanently. New hair starts to grow within six weeks and full results will be visible in a year.
Dr. Alan Baumann: "Most think of hair transplants as pluggy or painful, or unnatural, but we're light years away from that. If everything is done correctly, when it grows in, it's going to look like mother nature did it."
Chris and his family are anxiously waiting for his new hair to grow in .
Patti Liotta: "I'm hoping the hair grows and he won't stand out in a crowd anymore. He wont be teased."
But something else is growing within Chris too, a lesson in life.
Chris Liotta: "Everybody has something bad about them, nobody's perfect."
Dr. Baumann is a volunteer for Operation Restore where he does one free hair transplant every month for patients who've lost hair through injury or trauma.