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Telogen Effluvium - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


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Telogen Effluvium
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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. It is typical for a band like area of occipital hair follicles to enter the first telogen close to the time of birth and for these hairs to shed 2 to 3 months later. 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. There is no treatment for telogen effluvium. The problem will correct itself. All the lost hair will eventually be replaced. The doctor can prescribe some lotion such as minoxidil , Nizoral shampoo and Tricomin therapy spray to stimulate the hair growth. Blood tests may need to be done if the cause is not obvious, such as mild iron deficiency.

Among the common causes are high fevers, childbirth, severe chronic illness, major surgery or illnesses, over or under active thyroid gland, crash diets with inadequate protein, and a variety of medications. 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. If the telogen effluvium is caused by a medication, the medication needs to be stopped. When the cause of the hair loss is something like giving birth, a transient illness, or other self-limited problem the induced telogen effluvium is also usually self-limited and requires no treatment. Certain birth control pills may result in hair loss in women whom are susceptible to female pattern hair loss. This can usually be corrected by switching birth control pills by the physician. Hair loss may also occur once a woman stops using oral contraceptives.

Causes of Telogen effluvium

Telogen Effluvium occurs when severe stress causes an increase in the shedding of the hair. 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. Some prescription drugs may cause temporary hair shedding. Examples include some of the medicines used for the following: pain (aspirin or ibuprofen), depression, birth control pills, irregular heart beat, high blood pressure, or blood thinner. High doses of vitamin A or Accutane may also cause hair shedding.

Common causes and risk factors of Telogen effluvium:

  • Hormonal changes.
  • Major psychological stress.
  • Severe infection.
  • Acute and severe blood loss.
  • Iron deficiency.
  • Heavy metal poisoning

Signs and Symptoms of Telogen effluvium

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. Typically, abrupt diffuse hair loss is noticed several weeks to several months after the incident has initiated the biologic program for hair loss. While the most often noticed hair loss occurs on the scalp, some individuals may also notice hair loss elsewhere on the body.

Sign and symptoms may include the following :

  • The falling of large numbers of hairs.
  • Thinning of hair
  • Loss of patches of hair known as alopecia areata.
  • High fevers.
  • Thyroid disease.

Treatment for Telogen effluvium

There is no treatment for telogen effluvium. The problem will correct itself. Telogen effluvium 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.

Treatment may include:

  • The disease is self-correcting. However, gentle handling of the hair, avoiding over-vigorous combing and any type of scalp massage are important.
  • Lotion such as minoxidil, nizoral shampoo and tricomin therapy spray can be used to stimulate the hair growth.
  • A nutritious diet, with plenty of protein, fruit and vegetables may improve the condition.