Pediatric androgenetic alopecia: A review

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2021 Nov;85(5):1267-1273. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2019.08.018. Epub 2019 Aug 12.


Objectives: Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a well-known cause of hair loss in adults but is an under-recognized cause of hair loss in children and adolescents. We reviewed the existing literature regarding androgenetic alopecia in the pediatric/adolescent population.

Methods: PubMed searches were performed to identify all articles discussing AGA in a pediatric/adolescent population published up to December 2018.

Results: We identified 7 articles discussing androgenetic alopecia in patients aged younger than 18. One of these articles was a review containing data from 3 conference abstracts, which were also included in the analysis. A total of 655 cases of androgenetic alopecia were found.

Limitations: Data are limited to retrospective reviews and case reports/series.

Conclusion: AGA in the pediatric population is not uncommon, but its incidence and prevalence are unknown. It is associated with a strong family history of AGA and can typically be diagnosed clinically by physical examination and trichoscopy. Topical minoxidil, although not approved, has been used with success. Other treatment modalities are poorly studied in children.

Keywords: alopecia; androgenetic alopecia; androgenic alopecia; female pattern hair loss; finasteride; hair loss; male pattern hair loss; minoxidil; precocious puberty.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alopecia* / diagnosis
  • Alopecia* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Finasteride / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Minoxidil / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Finasteride
  • Minoxidil