Telogen Effluvium: Causes, Treatment, How Long Does it Last, Home Remedies, Pathophysiology

Sometimes an outflow of hair or hair loss state is termed as ‘Telogen Effluvium’. According to the dermatologists it is the most common condition of hair outflow. Though it is a serious problem to be taken care of, still a minimal research has been conducted on this condition. It is mostly observed when an alteration occurs in some of the hair follicles related to the hair growth. Telogen Effluvium emerges out as spreading of hair loss which is generally uneven throughout the scalp. The fallen hair, which is a result of Telogen Effluvium, can be identified by the keratin’s small bulb found on the root end of the hair.

People suffering from Telogen Effluvium do not lose all scalp hair but their hairs get comparatively thinner in this case. This mostly occurs in scalp but very seldom it has been observed that it is affecting in areas like eyebrows or other regions.

Telogen Effluvium

A General Idea about Telogen Effluvium

Non-scarring alopecia is often termed as Telogen Effluvium. Scattering hair loss with a very frequent keen start is a major characteristic of non-scarring alopecia. It can also occur consistently with a menacing beginning and also for longer term. The most common causes of its occurrence are: Metabolic strain, hormonal imbalance, anxiety or medicinal side-effects. It can be recovered and the recovery starts within 6 months from the time of the actual disease except for those who possess heredity causes of genetic alopecia.

Epidemiology of Telogen Effluvium

Telogen Effluvium is very frequent and is commonly observed but acute frequency is not witnessed. A large number of adults have undergone the phase of Telogen Effluvium at some point in their living days. Any type of racial partiality is not found. Telogen Effluvium occurs in any person irrespective of their sex if such acute seditious situation occurs. It occurs most commonly in women in the depression stage after the childbirth. Hair loss affects the mind status of mainly women; thus they need more medical help than men. Acute Telogen Effluvium is very common in women. Moreover, the onset of it can be at any stage of life from new born stage to old age.

Cause for Telogen Effluvium

Usually in a fit person almost 85% hair follicles can be sectioned into actively growing hair or anagen hair and the rest 15% are telogen or resting hair. These actively growing hair follicles normally grow for about a period of 4 years and then remain dormant for the next 4 months. There is always a bulb at the tip of the telogen hair, which helps it to shove while the anagen hair grows under it.

However, when a traumatic situation occurs almost 70% of the anagen hairs get converted into telogen hairs. Some such instances are as follows:

  • Too much exposure to sun
  • Discontinuation of contraceptive pills
  • Any major surgeries
  • Anxiety
  • Reprehensible diet
  • Giving birth to a child.

Other Causes of Telogen Effluvium

Here is a complete list of the factors causing Telogen Effluvium:

  • Postpartum Alopecia: The term is often used to describe the stage of post childbirth. The drastic hormonal change during this stage acts as a trauma to the sheath of the cells which enclose the hair root. Thus, they get closed for a certain period of time. There may be considerable hair loss, but the hair re-growth is also common in almost all cases. It occurs for a short time period.
  • Potential Deficiencies: An indecent diet consisting deficiency of zinc, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, amino acids and L-lysine can trigger this condition.
  • Antidepressants: Anti-depression pills can cause insidious Telogen Effluvium. In this case, alteration of medicine is the solution.

Besides, crash diet, traumas, any sort of major surgeries and any vaccine related injection can cause shut down of a portion of hair root cells for sometimes resulting in hibernation. However, gradually Telogen Effluvium collapses in accordance with the recovery.

Pathophysiology of Telogen Effluvium

Any part of the body’s hair can get affected by Telogen Effluvium but it mainly affects the scalp. The cycle of hair growth is mainly concerned with how the process takes place. The anagen hairs develop for a period of almost 3-4 years and then go for hibernation for the next 3-4 months. The anagen hair pushes out the telogen hair during the telogen phase.

For almost 15% of the people telogen effluvium occurs at any time without any conditions. However, the major factor causing it is hormonal distress or any serious trauma resulting in the conversion of bulk hair into telogen hair at a time. The hair loss continues unless the next growth comes into action. It has been observed that the hair loss procedure is a lively process which can sometimes occur independently. The gap between the stirring condition of Telogen Effluvium and the beginning of the hair loss is a month to 6 months.

How Long Does Telogen Effluvium Last?

Generally, Telogen Effluvium occurs after any major incident which plays a vital role to develop the condition on the scalp and lasts for an average period of about almost 6 months. The onset of new hair is immediate after the process of completion of shedding of hair. It must be remembered that noticeable growth may not be noticed after this case.

Diagnosis of Telogen Effluvium

Telogen Effluvium can have extensive effect on the affected ones. Proper diagnosis is required for revival of the normal volume of hair. A dermatologist usually takes a detailed medical history and evaluates the scalp and hair conditions. The doctor will check the scalp for infections; he will also look for visible thinning patches. However, thinning patches might not be always visible as it is a diffused thinning condition. The doctor may tug the hair and check if four or more is falling off. These hairs are evaluated for the presence of a white bulb at the root end. If it does, the condition could be confirmed.

The dermatologist could alternatively ask the person to collect all the hair that falls off over a period of 24 hours. The patient is asked to count the hair that has fallen. If the number is more than 100 then the condition is confirmed. The patient is asked to repeat this after every 1-2 weeks to check for decrease in the shedding of hair. In rare cases, a scalp tissue sample is taken consisting of many hair follicles which are then sent for biopsy. The doctor can also ask for blood tests to check for health conditions like Thyroid imbalance that can also lead to hair loss.

Treatment of Telogen Effluvium

No such treatment is proven effective for acute Telogen Effluvium. However, some conditions responsible for Telogen Effluvium can be rectified. For example: if you are on a improper diet, contact a dietician or if Telogen Effluvium occurs due to specific medications, immediately consult your physician to get the substitutes of such medicines.

In cases where the hair growth is not such significant, the physician may recommend Minoxidil, a lotion used for applying to the scalp which may trigger hair growth. An appropriate cosmetic surgery can partially provide solution to acute Telogen Effluvium.

Home Remedies for Telogen Effluvium

Apart from medications and applying lotions to treat Telogen Effluvium as recommended by your physician, you can also try some home remedies which may prove effective for hair growth. This is because medications always do not suit every individual. Argan, shea butter, coconut and jojoba oil are used for hair growth since ages.

These natural and essential oils are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants and surplus phytonutrients, which help in:

  • Moisturizing of scalp
  • Reduce hair fall by minimizing the inflammation of the hair follicles.
  • Enhance the production of sebum (oil) within your scalp.
  • Revitalization of the injured hair follicles.

A Brief Conclusion to Telogen Effluvium

Telogen Effluvium can vary from person to person. In some cases it may occur severely which needs a doctor on call. Telogen Effluvium, the other name of non-scarring alopecia is very prone among adults due to depression, trauma, improper diet and certain medications. If you are facing such problems do not panic; just see the quantity of hair that is shedding. If it is less, then the hair growth post Telogen Effluvium will be effective, whereas if the hair fall is high you can try the home remedies, which are the best solutions of all treatments. However, if the problem persists do seek a medical help to evaluate the condition and its reasons.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 6, 2018

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