Telogen Effluvium

  • Best Results6 months+
  • Treatment Recovery3-4 months
  • Procedure TimeNA
  • Skin SpecialistMedical dermatologist
  • Duration of ResultsExcellent prognosis
  • AnaestheticNA
  • Back to WorkNA
  • Cost$

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium is one of the most common causes of hair loss. It mainly affects. The most common association is childbirth. This condition is self-limiting and most patients will have normal hair density within 9 to 14 months, depending on the length of your hair. Treatments are rarely required.

FactsFacts on Telogen Effluvium

  • Telogen refers to the resting or sleep cycle of your hair follicle
  • Telogen effluvium refers to an aberration of the normal hair cycle
  • This results in synchronized hair fall 3-6 months after a precipitating event
  • Common triggers include pregnancy, stress, trauma & surgery
  • Ceasing the OCP is another frequent cause of hair loss
  • In some cases, TE may occur with other conditions such as androgenic alopecia
  • Other causes of hair loss that mimic TE include anagen effluvium, drugs, autoimmune & thyroid dysfunction
  • A medical dermatologist can diagnose & manage appropriately
  • Majority of cases self-correct without intervention

What is telogen effluvium?

This is one of the most common causes of acute hair loss. It is due to shedding or dormant hairs (known as telogen hairs). Unlike most other forms of hair loss, telogen affects the scalp globally.

Other causes of diffuse hair loss include androgenetic alopecia & alopecia areata. Your dermatologist can tell the difference between these conditions based upon simple examination & examination of hair.

*Anagen effluvium, loose anagen, drug induced causes, endocrine & immune causes can mimic TE. Your medical dermatologist can investigate as required.

How does telogen effluvium present?

Patients become aware of losing hair in increased amounts, accompanied by decreased density & volume. This is most noticeable after washing or brushing. Some people will notice increased hair on the pillow in the morning or around the house. Most cases are asymptomatic, but occasionally telogen effluvium can be accompanied by tenderness and altered sensations in the scalp, known as trichodynia.

How is this diagnosed?

Telogen effluvium can be diagnosed with a history & a simple hair examination. Microscopy will reveal club hairs- which is the shape of the hair root. In contrast, anagen effluvium has a pointy tip.

A simple hair pull test conducted by your dermatologist can diagnose different types of effluvium. Do not wash or comb your hair for 36 hours preceding the appointment as this test may yield a false negative result.

Disclaimer: I am a procedural dermatologist. I do not treat hair loss medically. For a diagnosis & management plan, consult my colleagues at Clinic Cutis.

What are the common causes of telogen effluvium?

Common triggers of telogen effluvium include childbirth, trauma, significant stress, marked weight loss & extreme dieting, a severe skin problem affecting the scalp, a new medication or withdrawal of a hormone treatment. Not all cases of TE have a cause.

Davin’s viewpoint on telogen effluvium

Dermatologists see a few cases a week. Diagnosis & management is straightforward in most cases. A normal adult loses up to 160 hairs a day as part of the normal hair cycle. Telogen effluvium occurs when there is an increase in the amount of hair in the telogen phase (resting phase). Normal hair growth has 10% in telogen, in TE, it increases to 30-50%.

There are many other causes that may resemble TE, including Chronic TE, female pattern hair loss/baldness (can occur with TE), anagen effluvium, LAS or loose anagen syndrome, endocrine causes including thyroid abnormalities, autoimmune disorders including lupus & dermatomyositis, as well as diffuse alopecia areata. Your dermatologist is well versed in these conditions and can investigate accordingly.

The vast majority of telogen effluvium will resolve within 6 months. Supportive care is appropriate. The role of microneedling & PRP is at the discretion of your treating specialist.

Disclaimer: I am a procedural dermatologist. I do not treat hair loss medically. For a diagnosis & management plan, consult my colleagues at Clinic Cutis.

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