What exactly is Telogen Effluvium? Perfect answers for affects, causes, symptoms & diagnosis!

The effects of hair loss in women can be caused by various differentiated factors. 

Stress, genetics or medical issues can all trigger hair loss. Although most hair loss factors are common, there are others that are quite rare, whether it’s temporary or an ongoing problem. Some women suffering from hair loss tend to let the condition slide, whereas some turn to alternatives such as creams, lotions, pills and shampoos. Some women even go for the option of hair replacement. It is advised to consult with a professional hair loss expert who can ensure you are provided with an accurate diagnosis to help you to understand the type of hair loss you are experiencing and what course of action you may want to consider. 

But what is Telogen Effluvium? 

This article will outline the factors that contribute to Telogen Effluvium, a temporary condition causing the hair to shed excessively after prematurely entering the resting phase of the hair growth cycle. Telogen effluvium can either be acute or chronic depending on the severity and cause of the problem. 
There are three stages of hair growth in every individual, anagen (growth phase), catagen (resting) and telogen. The anagen phase, or more simply the growth phase, lasts for an average of 2 – 6 years and is where 85% to 90% of growth takes place. 
The next stage is the catagen phase where the hair follicle makes a transition and puts an end to the active growth that took place in the anagen stage. This stage is the shortest stage in the growth cycle and only lasts around two to three weeks. 
Lastly is the telogen phase that occurs when the hair follicle is at a resting stage after the hair has shed. This phase usually lasts between two to three months to prepare, for the growth cycle to go back to the anagen active phase. However, in terms of hair loss, this reactivation can be prohibited due to several reasons. Some of these may be hormonal changes, genetics, illness and even stress. Scientists and doctors have come up with many different terminologies to describe the causes of hair loss seen in both women and men. 


What will happen if I have Telogen Effluvium? 

Telogen effluvium (TE) is a form hair loss that occurs when a substantial amount of sudden or severe stress has transpired, causing the hair follicles to prematurely fall into the telogen phase. This means the hair will stop growing and will remain in the resting phase for an average of three months, after this the hair will then begin to shed. An individual who is encountering Telogen Effluvium will have had or most likely overcome the stress related event before the hair loss would have occurred. Fortunately, as this can last up to 6 months, it means that the effects of Telogen effluvium can be temporary and usually results in a positive recovery. 
However, in some cases, individuals may see a continuation of hair loss unless the fundamental cause is examined further. If this form of Telogen Effluvium occurs regularly it can be described as a chronic form of Telogen Effluvium hair loss known as diffuse hair loss, this can last longer than 6 months. The main symptoms and signs of this would be traces of thinning hair on the scalp, however, no follicles will be lost. 

What may cause me to have Telogen Effluvium? 

The effects of Telogen Effluvium tend to arise more commonly in women rather than in men. This is due to an acceleration in natural events such as childbirth, menopause and dieting issues that are all experiences women are more likely to go through. 
● Hormonal change, such as childbirth or menopause 
● Extreme weight loss, gain or dieting 
● Major psychological and physical traumas or stress. 
● Several diagnosed medical conditions 
● Side effects of some medication 
● Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism (over active and under active thyroids) 


What are the symptoms & diagnosis? 

Well, the symptoms of Telogen Effluvium can be quite straight forward and rarely go unnoticed. You may notice a build-up of hair in your hairbrush, bath, shower or pillowcase. You may also notice a change in the density of your scalp. 
In most cases where Telogen Effluvium has occurred to get a full diagnosis from a medical professional such as a trichologist is key. They may carry out a series of investigations over a period through medical history, tests, observation and examination.  

One of the most common ways of diagnosing Telogen Effluvium, is though the examination of shedding of hair. The trichologist will gently pick on a few of the hairs to determine how much hair is shedding, in most cases of Telogen Effluvium the hair shaft will appear to have a white bulb residue on the end. This is how the telogen phase can be identified. They may ask you to gather hairs that have shed over 24 hours, to take a simple calculation to see if the daily amount of hairs is of an excessive level. If you tend to lose 100 hairs or less it will be considered as normal. 
In some rare cases that are most likely to raise doubt in the diagnosis, you may be asked to carry out a biopsy on your scalp to examine the problem further and in more detail. Your doctor may also conduct a sequence of blood tests to check for medical conditions such as thyroid abnormalities that can sometimes be the cause of hair loss 

What is the treatment for Telogen Effluvium? 

For the diagnosis of Telogen Effluvium, there has not yet been any treatment that has been evidently effective, although some of the causes can be corrected as well as prevented. For example, of terms of diet, you may consider consulting with a dietician to help you to keep it balanced. If you are taking medication that may have caused you to experience hair loss, you should seek medical advice to discontinue this and find an alternative. In cases where hair has not reverted to a satisfactory level for your standards, a medical professional may be able to prescribe you with a specific scalp lotion that is usually applied to stimulate growth in people suffering from hair loss. 

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