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Bullying causes girl's hair to fall out

PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 February 2010 | UPDATED: 08:11 02 July 2010

Young Sophie Nixon from Lowestoft has lost her hair after suffering stress related alopecia caused by bullying at her school.

Young Sophie Nixon from Lowestoft has lost her hair after suffering stress related alopecia caused by bullying at her school.

When football fanatic Sophie Nixon started losing clumps of her hair, no one in her family knew that bullying at school was making the youngster ill.

When football fanatic Sophie Nixon started losing clumps of her hair, no one in her family knew that bullying at school was making the youngster ill.

Now the 12-year-old from Lowestoft has spoken out about her alopecia to encourage other young people to seek help if they are being bullied.

Sophie's hair started falling out two years ago and she soon lost her eyebrows and eyelashes. It was only when her parents took her to see a doctor that she told them she was being teased at school and she was diagnosed with the condition, which causes sudden hair loss.

Her mother Helen Nixon said: “I felt absolutely helpless. She woke up crying one night with clumps of hair on her pillow and we took her to the doctors, but it was too late to stop the hair loss. Within a few weeks it had all gone.”

As well as causing hair loss, Sophie's alopecia affected her immune system and she was only able to go to Roman Hill Middle School for half days because she was constantly tired.

The avid Lowestoft Town Football Club supporter now spends two days a week at the Harbour Pupil Referral Unit in Lowestoft, where staff are helping her prepare to join the Denes High School in September.

Her hair is starting to grow back in patches but there is no cure for alopecia, so Sophie often wears hats and wigs.

For more information about alopecia and the support available, visit www.alopeciaonline.org.uk.

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