This common form of hair loss is due to shedding of resting (telogen) hair after a precipitating event. It is temporary and reversible, but always investigated for associations. Topical prescription treatment is available.
What is telogen effluvium?
In a normal healthy person's scalp about 85% of the hair follicles are actively growing hair and 15% are resting hair. In telogen effluvium, the ratio is reversed.
Increased hair loss is usually noticed only two months after these incidents.
- Illness with fever
- Surgery and anaesthesia
- Discontinuing the contraceptive pill, childbirth and breastfeeding
- Weight loss
- Certain medications
Initially, the hair loss is profuse. Hair fall is actually a sign that hair regrowth is taking place, as the new hairs push out the "dead" hairs. A fine fringe of new hair is often seen in the frontal hairline and the hair cycle returns to normal over a course of 6 months.
How will the dermatologist treat this?
Telogen effluvium is self-correcting. The dermatologist will perform investigations for common associations and prescribe topical treatment.