You noticed a few more hairs than normal in your hairbrush.
So you do a quick search on the internet to see if you can find out what’s going on.
It turns out, you might be experiencing telogen effluvium.
Which is a condition that can cause diffuse hair loss.
While there’s no cure, there is some hair care you can do to manage the condition.
Here’s what you need to know about telogen effluvium, causes and recovery.
What is telogen effluvium?
Telogen effluvium is a condition that triggers hair thinning and temporary hair loss.
It occurs when there is excessive shedding of telogen hair after some shock to the system.
As a result, hair on the scalp does not grow continuously.
Yet, hair follicles go through a growth stage, which can last two or more years.
Then it becomes inactive for up to two months, before starting to grow again.
At any time on a healthy human head, about 80% to 90% of the hair follicles are growing new hair fibres.
Moreover, these active follicles are in the anagen phase.
While that leaves up to 10% to 20% of scalp hair follicles in other stages of growth.
What are the signs and symptoms of telogen effluvium?
One of the most common symptoms of telogen effluvium is diffuse hair loss.
Other symptoms may include thinning of hair, a feeling of pressure on the scalp, and itching.
A potential hair loss typically starts 2 to 3 months after a triggering event, such as death, stress or an accident.
However, full effects of hair loss will only occur after 6 months.
How is telogen effluvium diagnosed?
Telogen effluvium is usually diagnosed based on the symptoms and medical history.
Typically, a physical examination can rule out other potential causes of hair loss.
But in some cases, a scalp biopsy may be necessary.
A scalp biopsy involves taking a small sample of skin from the affected area.
Followed by an examination under a microscope to look for abnormalities.
What are the causes of telogen effluvium?
There are several potential causes of telogen effluvium.
The most common cause is emotional stress resulting from a stressful event.
Other potential causes include:
- Severe illness
- Crash dieting
- Thyroid disorders
- Medications (including beta-blockers, antidepressants, and certain blood pressure medications)
- Radiation therapy
- Autoimmune disorders
What is the prognosis for telogen effluvium?
The prognosis for telogen effluvium is generally good.
Most cases resolve on their own within 6 months.
Still, in some cases, the hair loss may be permanent.
If you addressed the underlying causes, then hair loss is usually reversible.
How is telogen effluvium treated?
There is no cure for telogen effluvium.
But treatments are available to help manage the condition.
The goal of treatment is to identify and address the underlying cause of hair loss.
Although in most cases, hair loss will resolve on its own.
As long as the condition is unresolved, consider using medication such as Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride).
In severe cases, a doctor may inject a corticosteroid into your scalp.
As a result, it can help stimulate hair growth and prevent further hair loss.
How to prevent telogen effluvium?
There is no sure way to prevent telogen effluvium.
However, managing stress and potential trigger factors may help reduce the risk further.
As long as you encounter symptoms, see your doctor for a diagnosis.
Because early treatment helps prevent hair loss from becoming permanent.
Tips to help telogen effluvium regrowth
Even though telogen effluvium is common, it can be emotionally devastating.
Because hair loss can be difficult to cope with for some people.
Here are hair care tips to help with Telogen effluvium regrowth.
Stress can be a major trigger for telogen effluvium.
Since you are dealing with telogen effluvium, it is important to find ways to de-stress.
This can include yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, and exercise.
Avoid using heat styling:
Assuming you are experiencing telogen effluvium, it is best to avoid heat styling.
This includes blow-drying, flat ironing, and curling.
Heat can further damage the hair and exacerbate hair loss.
Eat a healthy diet:
A healthy diet is important for your overall health.
But it is especially important when dealing with telogen effluvium.
Make sure to eat plenty of protein, iron, and other nutrients essential for healthy hair.
Certain supplements can help with telogen effluvium.
Iron supplements are especially important if you have iron deficiency.
Other supplements that can help include biotin, fish oil, and vitamin C.
Avoid chemical and bleach dyes:
If you are dealing with telogen effluvium, it is best to avoid chemical and bleach dyes.
These can further damage the hair and scalp.
Massaging the scalp can help improve circulation and encourage hair growth.
It is best to do this for several minutes each day.
Who gets telogen effluvium?
Anyone can get telogen effluvium.
But, it is more common in women experiencing a major stressful event.
Chronic telogen effluvium
Chronic telogen effluvium differs from acute telogen effluvium in that it is persistent and varies over time.
Besides, when chronic telogen effluvium occurs, hair follicles enter the resting phase.
Also, during this resting phase, hair shed excessively.
Other factors causing chronic telogen effluvium include tension, nutrient deficiencies and medication.
While there is no cure, there are treatments that slow down the further development of the disease.
What is anagen effluvium?
Anagen effluvium occurs during the anagen, or growth phase, of a hair cycle.
Medication or underlying health problems are to blame for this kind of shedding.
Physical trauma to the scalp, such as a burn or surgery, can also induce anagen effluvium.
Symptoms of anagen effluvium include:
- Sudden hair loss
- Patchy hair loss
- Clumps of hair falling out when washing or combing
- Hair that breaks easily
- A feeling of tingling or numbness on the scalp
- Itchy or sore scalp
- Burning sensation on the scalp
How is anagen effluvium diagnosed?
A medical history and physical examination help determine if the aliment happened.
Moreover, a scalp biopsy may help rule out other conditions.
Further, blood tests or imaging tests, like a CT scan or MRI, can also help in the diagnosis.
What are the causes of anagen effluvium?
There are several possible causes of anagen effluvium, including:
Chemotherapy drugs and other medications can cause hair loss.
2. Underlying health conditions:
Conditions such as thyroid disorders, alopecia areata, and lupus can lead to hair loss.
3. Physical trauma:
Scalp trauma from surgery, burns, or injuries may harm hair follicles and result in hair loss.
4. Nutrient deficiencies:
Deficiencies in nutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamin D can cause hair loss.
5. Hormonal changes:
Changes in thyroid hormones can lead to hair loss, such as during pregnancy or menopause.
When you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is important to see a doctor.
This is to rule out other conditions and determine the best course of treatment.
What is the prognosis for anagen effluvium?
The prognosis for anagen effluvium depends on the underlying cause.
If the cause is due to medication, hair loss usually stops once you cease medication.
However, if the cause is an underlying health condition, hair loss can be permanent.
In some cases, hair may regrow on its own.
Medication to help hair growth
Also, there are treatments available to help promote hair growth.
Such treatments include minoxidil and platelet-rich plasma therapy.
Likewise, talk to your doctor about the best medical treatment option for yourself.
Treatments for anagen effluvium
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for anagen effluvium.
Given the problem is due to a drug, hair loss generally reverses once therapy stops.
Still, if the cause is an underlying health condition, the hair loss may be permanent.
In some cases, the hair may regrow on its own.
How do you prevent anagen effluvium?
There is no guaranteed way to prevent anagen effluvium.
Instead, you can help reduce your risk by avoiding medications known to cause hair loss.
Moreover, you can help reduce your risk by managing any underlying health conditions.
If you are taking medications that may cause hair loss, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.
Who gets anagen effluvium?
Anagen effluvium occurs in patients who have received radiation or chemotherapy for malignancy.
The most common drugs implicated are cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and others, causing hair shedding.
However, hair loss may be reversible.
Provided you resolved and removed underlying causes, or else hair loss becomes permanent.
Is there a difference between telogen effluvium and anagen effluvium?
Yes, there is a difference between telogen effluvium and anagen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium is when hair follicles enter the resting phase (telogen phase) prematurely.
On the other hand, anagen effluvium destroys the hair follicles and does not enter the resting phase at all.
In conclusion, telogen effluvium and anagen effluvium are two types of hair loss.
Both hair loss conditions can be difficult to deal with.
But there is certain hair health care that you can do to help with hair regrowth.
These include de-stressing, eating a healthy diet, and having shorter hair.
Besides, there are many helpful resources online and in support groups available.
Thank you for reading, leave any comments in the box below.
Should I wash my hair less with telogen effluvium?
It is best to avoid washing your hair too often when you have telogen effluvium.
Washing your hair too often can dry out the scalp and further damage the hair follicles.
Will my hair become thick again after telogen effluvium?
The good news is that in most cases, the hair will eventually become thick again.
However, it is important to note that the hair may not return to its original thickness.
Can chronic telogen effluvium last for many years?
Yes, chronic telogen effluvium can last for many years.
What is the best shampoo for telogen effluvium?
There is no one “best” shampoo for telogen effluvium.
Instead, it is important to find a shampoo that is gentle and non-irritating.
Such as a shampoo containing biotin or other nutrients essential for healthy hair.
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