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Telogen Effluvium
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Home :: Telogen Effluvium

Telogen Effluvium - Causes, Symptoms And Treatment of Chronic Telogen Effluvium

What is Telogen Effluvium ?

Telogen effluvium is a condition where more than normal amounts of hair fall out. There is a general thinning of the hair. Telogen effluvium is an temporary loss of hair due to alteration of the normal hair cycle. Hair growth occurs in a cycle which is divided into three phases: a growth phase, a regression phase and a resting phase.

Different hairs are in different stages of the cycle at any one time. Normally, most of the hairs are in the growth stage and only one hundred hairs per day fall from the scalp. When telogen effluvium occurs, a greater proportion of the hairs enter the resting phase of the cycle and hair shedding is greater than normal. Telogen Effluvium appears to affect more women than men because more of the precipitating event such as childbirth are experienced by women.

Causes of Telogen Effluvium

In a normal healthy person's scalp about 85% of the hair follicles are actively growing hair and 15% are resting. Most hair loss from medications is this type and causes include retinoids, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, antidepressants, and NSAIDS (including ibuprofen). Some of the common causes of hair loss or telogen effluvium includes :-

  • Child Birth
  • Severe Emotional Stress
  • Pregnancy Termination's
  • Dieting Drug
  • Starting or Stopping Birth Control Pills
  • Iron deficiency

Symptoms of telogen effluvium

If you have telogen effluvium, a lot of hairs fall out from your scalp. This is more than normal and most noticeable when you wash your hair. However, your scalp and the remaining hair look healthy. You will not have patches of hair loss (bald patches), but rather a generalised thinning.

Treatment for Telogen Effluvium

No treatment is available or required. Once the stressful event is passed, your hair thickness will usually return to normal within a few months. You should also ensure a nutritious diet, with plenty of protein, fruit and vegetables.

Chronic telogen effluvium is recently recognized and not uncommon. It often occurs in women who previously had very thick hair in their teens and twenties and still have an apparently normal head of hair to a casual observer. It affects the entire scalp with no obvious cause apparent. It usually affects women of 30 to 60 years of age, starts suddenly and has a tendency to fluctuate for a period of years

In chronic cases of telogen effluvium, some doctors may prescribe minoxidil (Rogaine), a lotion applied to the scalp that stimulates hair growth in some people.

Prevention for Telogen Effluvium

Nothing can be done to prevent most of the types of physical shock that can start telogen effluvium. Some cases may be caused by a poor diet, and these might be prevented by eating a balanced diet that provides enough protein, iron and other nutrients.

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