Telogen Effluvium - Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

What Is Telogen Effluvium & How Can You Treat It?

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Hair loss of any kind can negatively impact a person. It not just looks unsightly but hampers the self-confidence altogether. Telogen effluvium is a type of hair loss that can affect men and women, though it may be more common in women. This article shall delve into details about what Telogen effluvium is, what causes it, the symptoms seen, and the measures that can be taken to treat and prevent it.

What Is Telogen Effluvium?

Your hair grows in a steady cycle of growth, rest, and fall. On an average, each individual sheds 100 hair in a day, which is normal. In the case of Telogen effluvium, more hair from actively growing phase (anagen) enters the resting phase (telogen) and is shed abruptly. This increases the hair fall number from a 100 per day to almost 300. About 30% of the hair is affected by this transition from anagen phase to telogen phase, leading to the increased hair fall and hair thinning.

Acute Telogen effluvium affects men and women equally, however chronic Telogen effluvium in seen more often in females.

What Causes Telogen Effluvium?

There are many factors that can push the hair in Anagen phase to Telogen phase to cause Telogen effluvium. These are given below –

  • Stressful trigger event – Any physical trauma that the body experiences such as pregnancy, mental stress, surgery, accident, excessive blood loss, etc., can trigger Telogen effluvium. Such an event pushes the hair from the Anagen phase to the Telogen phase before they are supposed to enter the shedding phase. In a span of one to two months after the stressful event, you will notice hair thinning due to the increased hair fall. It is not just physiological stress, but also psychological stress can cause Telogen effluvium as it exerts similar effects on the hair growth cycle.
  • Diet – Changes in diet in the form of crash diets or a diet that lacks essential vitamins for healthy hair growth (namely iron, zinc, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12) can also affect hair growth. Insufficient nutrients can cause an imbalance in the hair growth cycle and increase hair fall.
  • Disease – Infections like typhoid, malaria and any long standing fevers are common causes of telogen effluvium. A disease that leads to a hormonal imbalance such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism can impact hair fall negatively and lead to hair thinning in the form of Telogen effluvium. Chronic systematic diseases or inflammatory disorders can also cause this type of hair loss. A few examples of such diseases are hepatic failure, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disorder, and contact dermatitis.
  • Medications – Certain medications like antihypertensives, antidepressants, and oral contraceptives can also cause Telogen effluvium. Observe the changes you have made to the medications you are taking and speak to your doctor if you feel they are causing the increased hair loss.

Also Read: Top 15 Causes Of Hair Loss In Men & Women

What Are The Symptoms Of Telogen Effluvium?

An increase in hair fall that is much beyond the usual levels is the primary symptom of Telogen effluvium. The entire scalp can be affected.

Telogen Effluvium Treatments & Hair Regrowth

When it comes to treating Telogen effluvium, depending on the causal factor, you can opt for different methods to restore your hair growth.

  • When the hair loss is due to medications, you can speak to your doctor so that he/she can prescribe you with alternatives that will not impact your hair fall.
  • When it is due to diet, a healthy diet can be followed. A certified dietitian can help you in planning your Telogen effluvium diet chart for healthy hair growth.
  • Diseases that lead to Telogen effluvium need to be treated first, and once they are treated, your hair cycle will return to normal.

Telogen effluvium regrowth of hair can also be achieved by opting for PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) therapy at a reputed hair clinic. This is a safe and non invasive treatment where blood from patients own body is extracted and put to centrifuge to separate growth factor rich platelets. This platelet which is rich in proteins is injected back into the scanty areas of hair growth on scalp via microneedles This treatment helps to supply the affected hair follicles with essential growth factors present in the blood platelets.

Also Read: What Is PRP Treatment – Cost, Side Effects & Results?

How To Prevent Telogen Effluvium?

Since the triggers for this type of hair loss are usually out of control, it is difficult to prevent Telogen effluvium. However, one measure that can be taken to prevent it is to eat a healthy diet that is rich in protein and essential nutrients like iron and vitamin B complex.

Difference Between Telogen Effluvium And Anagen Effluvium?

Both Anagen effluvium and Telogen effluvium are types of hair loss that are reversible. In Anagen effluvium, large chunks of hair fall out drastically and rapidly. A common cause for this is chemotherapy. While in Telogen effluvium, the hair loss is not so drastic and does not lead to partial (or even complete) balding as seen in Anagen effluvium.

Also Read: How To Prevent Hair Loss Effectively?

General Tips For Recovery

  • Eat Nutritiously – We cannot emphasize on this enough. A healthy hair cycle requires the nutrients mentioned above for the cycle to run smoothly. Lack of these nutrients can be easily tackled by making the right changes to the diet or opting for external supplements to supply the body with them.
  • Get Enough Sleep – The cells in the body, including those on the scalp, rejuvenate and replenish themselves when you sleep. Getting enough sleep, six to eight hours every night will help the hair cells to function optimally. Also, lack of sleep can create a hormonal imbalance in the body, and this can increase hair loss. Hence, it is even more important to sleep enough amount of time every day.
  • Practice Stress Management – Stress releases hormones that can affect the overall healthy functioning of the body, including the hair growth cycle. Learn to manage it with simple techniques such as yoga, meditation, or just walking for 20-30 minutes. You can even read a book to take your mind off things and relax
  • Keep Hormones In Balance – If hormonal imbalance is the reason for your Telogen effluvium hair loss, speak to a doctor or a dermatologist to get the appropriate testing done. Once you know the results, the doctor can prescribe you with the required medication to bring the hormones under balance.

Also Read: Male Pattern Baldness(MPHL) – Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Telogen effluvium hair loss can be hardly noticeable initially, but over a few months, hair thinning becomes prominent. Let this type of hair loss not affect your self-esteem and body image. Identify the triggers with the help of a dermatologist who can also recommend you an effective Telogen effluvium cure.

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About The Author

Kushneet Kukreja

Kushneet Kukreja

A postgraduate in Biotechnology from Kingston University and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition, Kushneet Kukreja is a passionate writer who works in close association with the dermatologists at our head office to generate valuable and scientifically accurate content for our blog.


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