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Telogen Effluvium - Treatment to get rid of it - Causes and Symptoms

Hair growth is mainly 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 instant of time. Usually, most of the hairs are in the growth phase. It is normal to lose up to about 100 hairs a day. This is the result of the normal hair growth cycle. Hairs will be in the growth phase for few years then for sometime in the regression phase for some time years and then in the resting phase for a few months, and this cycle continues. In Telogen effluvium a sudden or stressful event can cause the hair follicles to prematurely stop growing and enter into a resting phase. Telogen Effluvium is the name for the resting phase of the hair growth cycle.

What is Telogen Effluvium?

Telogen effluvium is an abnormal loss of hair which mainly occurs when some stress causes hair roots to be pushed prematurely into the resting state or due to alteration in the normal hair cycle. Telogen Effluvium can be acute aswell as chronic. Telogen effluvium is a reactive process caused by a metabolic or hormonal stress or by medications. Generally, recovery is spontaneous and occurs within 6 months.

Telogen Effluvium Causes

Telogen Effluvium occurs when sudden or severe stress causes an increase in the shedding of the hair. The hair will then stay in the resting phase (the phase in which telogen effluvium occurs) for some time approximately 90 days and after that a large amount of hair will be shed. Often the suffering person recovers from the event before the hairs start shedding. In most cases the hair fall is for a very less time and the hair soon recovers. However in some cases the hair loss continues until the underlying cause is fixed. Telogen Effluvium is found to affect more women than man.

There are several causes of telogen effluvium. Some of them are listed below:

  • A very common case of telogen effluvium would be the episode of severe hair shedding and which may last upto 100 days after a woman has given birth. This is because during pregnancy most of the hair follicles are undergoing the growth phase. But soon after the pregnancy, a greater proportion of these hairs go into the resting phase, causing a severe hair loss. The factor causing this is probably the abrupt hormonal changes that occur at the end of pregnancy.
  • The same phenomenon can be seen after stopping birth control pills.
  • Flu or stress can also cause telogen effluvium.
  • Acute illness such as febrile illness, high fever, severe infection, major surgery (especially with general anesthesia) , severe stress and severe psychological trauma can cause telogen effluvium.
  • Heavy metal poisoning
  • Changes in diet like crash dieting, low protein intake, and chronic iron deficiency can also cause telogen effluvium.
  • Chronic illness such as malignancy, and any chronic debilitating illness, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, end-stage renal disease, or liver disease can cause telogen effluvium.
  • Chronic medical illness.
  • Acute and severe blood loss.
  • Medications.
  • Menopause.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis of the scalp.

Symptoms of Telogen Effluvium

If you are suffering from telogen effluvium then you will notice a lot of hair loss. The hair loss would be much more than the usual hair loss. You will be noticing a lot of hair accumulating on your pillowcase, on the washbasin and in your hairbrush. Your scalp may look less dense than usual. Although, other people may not notice anything different about your hair.

Treatment to Get Rid of Telogen Effluvium

There is no treatment for telogen effluvium as such. It is usually self-correcting. All the lost hair will eventually be replaced. It is really not influenced by any treatment that can be given. However, proper care should be taken of hairs like gentle handling of the hair, avoiding over-vigorous combing or brushing and any type of scalp massage are important.

You should also ensure a nutritious diet, with plenty of protein, fruit and vegetables. The doctor may check your levels of iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid, as any deficiency in these may slow down the hair growth.

It can be simply treated by removing its causes or waiting for it to complete its course. A dermatologist can decide the proper course of action. Some causes of telogen effluvium can be corrected. For example, if your are suffering from telogen effluvium due to poor diet or crash dieting then you can improve your diet routine by consulting your doctor who will help you in taking a balanced diet. If the hair loss began just after you started taking a new medication then you may talk your doctor if the medication could be discontinued.



Telogen Effluvium Information and Treatment