I have a 17 year old son with Autism. The endocrinologist suspects he may have had precocious puberty. I am concerned because he has been losing his hair for about 3 years. My sons body hair is so thick we jokingly call him big foot. My father was bald, and I know there has been some research into baldness being hereditary on the mothers side.
However,currently my second son is 14 and shows no signs of thinning, although he also has excessive body hair, and there have been concerns he may also be going through precocious puberty due to his height. I am at a loss as to what I can do to help my 17 year old. My husband is bewildered because he is Native American and has an abundance of hair… He doesn’t quite know how to help either… Do you have any words of wisdom to offer?
Precocious puberty is when a young man goes through the puberty process much earlier than normal, somewhere around 9 years old. But boys usually go through puberty in their teenage years… and your son is 17 years old! By the age of 17, I would think that your son should have gone through puberty by now. For your other son that is 14 years old, X-rays can tell you if his bone growth centers have fused (a sign that puberty is behind him).
Unfortunately male pattern baldness (MPB) or androgenic alopecia (AGA) is a genetic trait that sometimes shows up early in boys going through puberty. I have seen men in their late teenage years who are very bald. Balding is not a disease, but a trait that can come from either side of the family tree. It seems to be passed on more from the mother’s side of the family, but this is not statistically valid. Body hair is just another familial trait (and unrelated to the scalp hair loss).
While there is no cure for genetic balding, there are medications to slow it down (Propecia or Rogaine). Talk with your son’s doctor get the correct diagnosis and discuss treatment options.