Is Telogen Effluvium Curable?
There is no cure for telogen effluvium, however, the condition is usually temporary and resolves itself over time. This blog is to serve as your go-to guide on all things TE so that you have a better understanding of what you may be dealing with.
Scroll down for key takeaways.
How to tell if I have acute telogen effluvium
Acute telogen effluvium is a common form of hair loss when people shed hairs considerably and it can affect all their hair. It can be triggered by various factors such as stress, diet, and medical or hormonal treatments.
If you are experiencing sudden diffuse loss of your hair follicles, it's important to determine whether telogen effluvium is the cause. In this article, we will discuss acute telogen effluvium in depth and outline how to tell if you have telogen effluvium.
We will also discuss other types of hair loss and scalp disorders so that you can be better informed about your condition.
What is considered a "Normal Scalp"
To better understand what the hair follicles go through in telogen effluvium, it is first important to know what a "normal scalp" looks like. A normal scalp has about 100,000 hair follicles. Each day, we lose around 100 hair follicles from our scalp as part of the normal hair cycle.
The hair growth cycle has three phases: anagen phase (growth), catagen phase (transition), and telogen phase (resting). Anagen hair is in the longest phase of the hair growth cycle and can last anywhere from two to seven years.
Around 85% of our hair is in the anagen phase at any given time. The telogen phase lasts about 100 days when the telogen hair follicles rest. At the end of the telogen phase, we enter "telogen release" where the hair follicles shed the hair shaft and new hair growth begins.
This cycle repeats itself and we usually lose around 100 strands of telogen scalp hair per day.
Is it normal to have telogen effluvium?
Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 people suffer hair loss known as "Telogen Effluvium". Telogen effluvium is hair loss due to stress and trauma. Fortunately, this temporary condition is often treated without surgery.
Everybody is subject to stress and sometimes this can be exacerbated by the stress of having hair loss as a result. For an average hair cycle, it is normal to lose approximately 100 strands of scalp hair daily.
When you have a stressful event, you will see a sudden increase in scalp hair shedding approximately three to four months after the event.
What does "Telogen" Mean?
Telogen is the final stage of the hair growth cycle. In this stage, the telogen follicles rest for two to four months before it sheds the hair shaft and enters a new growth cycle.
Telogen hairs make up approximately 20-30% of all hairs on the head. The telogen phase is also known as the "resting phase" where the telogen hair is fully grown and does not actively grow any longer.
The telogen phase does not just apply to scalp hair, but to all hair on the body including eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair. Now that we know a little bit more about the telogen phase and telogen hairs, let's discuss telogen effluvium in more detail.
What is "Effluvium"?
Effluvium is defined as any unusual or abnormal outflow or discharge of fluid from the body. In telogen effluvium, there is an increased outflow of hairs from the resting phase into the shedding phase.
What causes telogen effluvium (TE)?
There are many possible causes of telogen effluvium, including:
- Stress: Physical and emotional stress can trigger telogen effluvium.
- Diet: Crash dieting or severe malnutrition can lead to telogen effluvium.
- Medical treatments: Telogen effluvium can be a side effect of certain medical treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
- Hormonal changes: telogen effluvium can be caused by hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.
How can I tell if I have telogen effluvium?
If you are experiencing diffuse hair loss that has occurred suddenly and you aren't sure why it's important to see a doctor or dermatologist determine whether telogen effluvium is the cause.
Your doctor will likely perform a physical examination and ask about your medical history and hair loss. They may also order blood tests to rule out other possible causes of hair loss, such as thyroid disorders or anemia.
If telogen effluvium is the cause of your hair loss, you can expect it to be temporary. With proper treatment, telogen effluvium usually resolves within six to twelve months.
What are the treatments for telogen effluvium?
There is no specific treatment for telogen effluvium, as it is typically a self-limiting condition. However, there are some things that you can do to manage your hair loss and promote hair growth. These include:
- Managing stress: One of the best things that you can do to treat telogen effluvium is to manage your stress levels. This can be done through relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.
- Eating a healthy diet: A healthy diet rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals is essential for maintaining healthy hair.
- Taking supplements: There are some supplements that may promote hair growth, such as biotin, iron, and zinc.
- Avoiding hairstyles that pull on the hair: Hairstyles that pull on the hair, such as tight ponytails or braids, can exacerbate telogen effluvium and should be avoided.
- Using gentle hair care products: Choose hair care products that are designed for sensitive scalps and avoid those that are harsh or irritating.
Distinguishing Androgenetic Alopecia, Telogen Effluvium, Female Pattern Hair Loss, and other hair and scalp disorders
TE Hair Loss Varies. If you are confused about the cause of your significant hair shedding and looking for more information to help you begin to address the issue, read on...
- Alopecia areata: You may have alopecia areata if you find yourself with small bald patches on your scalp that may get larger and even form into one big bald spot.
Hair loss with alopecia areata also tends to occur during colder months of the year and you may notice red, brittle fingernails.
- Loose anagen hair syndrome: Loose anagen hair syndrome (LAS) is a phenomenon where anagen hair follicles can be pulled painlessly from the scalp as if it is not properly secured to the scalp in the first place.
Conducting a hair pull test may help you to determine if you have LAS or if your hair thinning is related to something else.
Those affected with LAS have hair that doesn't seem to grow very much. There is no known cause for this.
- Acute telogen effluvium: Also known as Severe Telogen Effluvium where symptoms of Telogen Effluvium are exasperated.
- Diffuse Telogen hair loss: You may have diffuse telogen hair loss if you find yourself with hair all over your pillow in the morning or if you run your fingers through your hair and a lot of strands come out. This is different from normal hair shedding.
- Anagen Effluvium: Anagen effluvium occurs when the growth phase of the hair cycle is disrupted leading to a delayed telogen release. New anagen hair is then stunted. Chemotherapy is a common cause of anagen effluvium.
- Traction alopecia: You may have traction alopecia if you find yourself with bald spots or thinning hair as a result of hairstyles that pull on the hair such as tight ponytails, cornrows, or braids.
- Female pattern hair loss: Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) is the most common hair loss type in women. It typically presents with thinning of the hair on the scalp. FPHL can be caused by many different things such as hormones, genetics, and age.
- Diffuse Alopecia areata: You may have diffuse alopecia areata if you find yourself with bald spots or thinning hair all over your scalp. This is different from the small, isolated bald spots that are seen in alopecia areata.
- Androgenetic Alopecia: You may have androgenetic alopecia if you find yourself with thinning hair on the scalp that is most noticeable in the temples and crown. This is typically seen in men but can also affect women.
- Diffuse Non scarring alopecia: You may have diffuse non-scarring alopecia if you find yourself with thinning hair all over your scalp that does not result in any scarring. This is typically temporary and can be caused by many different things such as stress, diet, and certain medications.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: You may have seborrheic dermatitis if you find yourself with a scaly, itchy scalp. This condition can also cause dandruff.
- Psoriasis: You may have psoriasis if you find yourself with a scaly, itchy scalp. This condition can also cause hair loss.
- Tinea capitis: You may have tinea capitis if you find yourself with bald spots or thinning hair as a result of a fungal infection. This is typically seen in children.
- Intermittent chronic telogen effluvium: You may have this if you find yourself with diffuse, thinning hair that comes and goes. This is typically seen in women and can be caused by many different things such as stress, diet, and certain medications.
- Chronic telogen effluvium: You may have chronic telogen effluvium if you find yourself with diffuse, thinning hair that does not go away. This diffuse hair loss is typically seen in women and can be caused by many different things such as stress, diet, and certain medications.
Chronic Telogen Effluvium can heal if treated as early as possible. Excessive hair shedding where the number of hair follicles is greater than 100 per day and your hair density is noticeably thinner should be discussed with your doctor as there are a few treatment options available to prevent further hair fall.
- Post-partum hair loss: You may have post-partum hair loss if you find yourself with thinning hair after pregnancy. Diffuse hair loss during postpartum is typically temporary and will resolve on its own with the proper support.
- Iron Deficiency Hair Loss: You may have iron deficiency hair loss if you find yourself with thinning hair and fatigue. This type of hair loss is typically seen in women and can be caused by many different things such as stress, diet, and certain medications.
Iron-related hair loss symptoms include excessive shedding around the forehead hairline, diffuse hair loss, and can even be as simple as increased shedding. Having a mineral or essential fatty acid deficiency may even cause you to shed hair while in the anagen and telogen phase simultaneously. cause hair breakage,
- Anagen Release: Anagen release is a telogen effluvium subtype that oftentimes has an abrupt onset of excessive hair shedding on the entire scalp. Complete baldness is not common with this delayed anagen release and new hair regrowth is possible when the internal issues are addressed. This loss of follicles is typically temporary and will resolve on its own.
Hair shaft abnormalities such as trichorrhexis nodosa (knotting of the hair shaft) and telogen hair bulbs (abnormalities of the hair follicles that are seen during the telogen hair phase) can also cause lead to increased shedding.
Causes of Chronic Telogen Effluvium: Stress and Diet
Typically, long-term TE occurs in women shortly after birth. Postpartum alopecia is abnormally high levels of hormonal activity which causes the hair follicle to shut down. Some hairs may shed significantly, but the majority of regrowth takes place quickly.
In addition, vaccination is induced by crashes, dieting, or physical injury such as car accident injuries as well as having surgery. As environmental insults pass through and the body recovers, TE subsides and new hair grows.
Telogen effluvium causes hairs of various sizes to enter the resting phases during the growth phase of the hair cycle and then abruptly exit the growth phase (telogen).
How is telogen effluvium diagnosed?
Telogen effluvium may be determined primarily by its clinical characteristics. A trichogram is a useful diagnostic tool for confirming an underlying disease: several percent telogen hair in one trichogram indicates telogen effluvium.
Light microscopic tests show club hair. A scalp biopsy is rare. This should show a normal terminal/vellus hair ratio, a greater proportion of telogen follicles, as well as little inflammation or fibrinopathy. A club hair is already shed hair that exited the shaft.
How long does telogen effluvium last?
Telogen effluvium can lead to diffuse nonscarring alopecia. Acute hair loss typically occurs 2-3 days after trigger events. It lasts for a maximum 6 months while it remains persistent in chronic telogen effluvium for more than 6 months.
How often should I wash my hair if I have telogen effluvium?
You should avoid over-washing your hair as it can lead to further hair loss. Washing your hair too frequently can also lead to telogen effluvium. It is best to wash your hair every two to three days. This will help to keep your hair and scalp healthy.
*Dystrophic anagen hairs are hairs that are in the telogen phase but have not yet fallen out.
* A club hair is scalp hair that has fully completed the telogen phase and has fallen out.
Does your hair grow back after telogen effluvium?
Telogen effluvium normally begins 3 months before it is detected. Hair might seem thinner though. You may not be completely bald, you may even be bald.
The situation will be reversed. If your hair starts getting thicker after undergoing medical treatment, it will take six weeks.
What is the difference between telogen effluvium and anagen effluvium?
Anagen effluvium is the hair shedding occurring in the anagen phase of hair cycles. It contrasts with telogen effluvium shedding which occurs in either the rest phase of the hair cycle or in both telogen and anagen.
Telogen Effluvium and Other Effluviums that affect the hair follicles
Some hair loss issues are called effiva, meaning outflow. Effluvidium affects various phases of growth and hair development. Hair follicles in hair do not produce permanent hair. They cycle through a growth stage that usually lasts a period of years before regressing into rest stages until 2 to 6 weeks to begin re-growth.
In a normal human scalp, between 80 and 98% of hair grows. These follicular cells have been identified during the anagen phase. This results in a resting state called "telogen" in which the hair follicle does not form hair fibers.
Does telogen effluvium affect the whole body or just the scalp hair?
Telogen effluvium affects all parts of the body, but usually, only head hairs are symptomatic. To understand the pathophysiologic pathology of telogen effluvium, we need knowledge in the hair development cycle.
What medications can cause telogen effluvium?
Telogen effluvium can be caused by many drugs, namely anticoagulants, retinoids and their derivatives, interferons, and antihyperlipidemic drugs. The resulting hair loss may also be reversed if injected with medication.
Is there a way to stop telogen effluvium from compromising the hair follicle?
Telogen efflux generally is completely treated within a month without undergoing treatment. Telogen normally lasts about ten to twelve months, and after the first few months, hair grows back.
What is the best treatment for telogen effluvium?
How should we treat telogen effluvium? Gentle handling of hair, avoid overly-intensified combing or brushing. Treat all scalp problems and hormonal imbalances. Maintain a healthy lifestyle with lots of protein, fruits, and vegetables.
Gentle handling of the hair, eliminating excessive brushing and hair massage. Treat any hair disorders and hormonal conditions if any.
Give your family an enticing meal that provides good nutrition, including lots of vegetables and fruits.
Ensure that you have a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle.
Will my hair ever recover from telogen effluvium?
Excessive shedding and hair fall can be signs of dead hair that need to be addressed - however from what we've discussed today about TE, you can see that with careful consideration, preparation, and execution, we can help our new anagen hair stay healthy, decrease hair fall, and watch our new anagen hair enter the telogen phase.
Telogen effluvium is a common condition that can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, diet, and medication. While it is usually temporary and reversible, telogen effluvium can be a frustrating condition. If you are experiencing hair loss, talk to your doctor to determine if telogen effluvium is the cause. There are treatments available that can help promote hair growth and reduce shedding. With proper treatment, telogen effluvium is usually resolved within a few months.
- Telogen effluvium is a non-scarring alopecia characterized by diffuse, sometimes acute hair loss.
- Telogen effluvium is triggered through metabolic stress, hormonal or medical treatment and is usually temporary if treated.
-Telogen efflux generally is completely treated within a month without undergoing treatment.
- Gentile handling of hair, avoiding overly-intensified combing or brushing, can help telogen effluvium from compromising the hair follicle.
- Telogen effluvium is usually resolved within a few months with proper treatment.
If you are experiencing hair loss, talk to your doctor to determine if telogen effluvium is the cause. There are treatments available that can help promote hair growth and reduce shedding. With proper treatment, telogen effluvium is usually resolved within a few months.