I was looking at Hunter's hair today, something I do everyday - he has the most wonderfully coloured hair. Brown, blond and sometimes even reds. But today, instead of finding an acceptable colour, what did I find? A grey hair. Now, you will have to understand, at one time Hunter had a really blond hair that one cousin said looked like a grey hair but after a few months that (patch) darkened up to a more brownish colour as babies with blond hairs tend to do. Since I saw that patch of blonds every day, I knew it wasn't grey. What I saw today floored me. I found a single, wiry, course, absolutely grey hair. There was no doubt about it, it was grey - silver grey. I decided, despite it being odd, I was going to remove this terrible looking, out of place single grey hair from the head of my 10.75 month olds head. And so I did. I also decided that since it was such an unusual thing, I taped it to a black piece of paper, dated it and put it into Hunter's baby book. I mean, who wants to forget something like that? As I am doing this, my mother in law tells me that John (Hunter's daddy) also had this strange event happen to him at nearly the same age. So decidedly this is a genetic ordeal! While she begged me to leave the hair alone, since it was "one more Daddy-Hunter thing" that they shared in common, I decided that Hunter could do without the premature ageing at less than 11 months old and so I removed ever so delicately. He didn't even know that I had taken it out. The more important question at this stage is, are we giving our son grey hairs?? I certainly hope not! And I am not quite sure if you can call this one a milestone....
Something else I have discovered on Hunter a few weeks ago, was a tiny white patch on his tummy, just above his belly button. When I first noticed this loss of pigment, (and as funny as its sounds, Hunter is pretty white despite having a olive complexion Mommy and white Daddy) I laughed because I have the opposite problem, I have about three cafe au lait spots (brown pigmented patches). One spot didn't really concern me, but about two weeks ago I noticed yet another white loss of pigment patch, and then a few nights ago I found a third spot. I decided to look up what these types of spots were called and I found out quick quickly that the pigment spots are called Vitiligo. While it appears that these pigment spots are just as harmless as my cafe au lait spots, I decided to research whether this is something that occurs more often in those who have Down syndrome. And lo and behold, this is what I read:
"Vitiligo is a loss of pigmentation of the skin in well-defined areas. It may occur anywhere on the body and at any age. Vitiligo is not a common problem in people with DS, but is still more common than in the general population. The cause is unknown, but it may be caused by autoantibodies destroying melanocytes, which are cells in the skin that produce pigment."
This was definitely interesting to me, and I can say this was definitely something I had not read or heard of before! I just hope that it doesn't progress too much and that Hunter doesn't lose what beautiful colour he has now, as he definitely has such a wonderful "colour" to him. I did find out that the "treatment" so to speak is to use sunscreen liberally as the sun or sunburns can contribute to Vitiligo. Something in addition that I read but don't put a lot of stake into was that one website suggests that Vitiligo and Grey hairs are linked. Possibly this may be true, but for now, I think the grey hair was a random occurrence and I will keep an eye out for any more "grey hairs" and "pigmentation loss" in our cute little Hunter.