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Telogen effluvium

What is it?

Intense hair loss that are in the telogen phase. There are many causes which may determine the appearance of telogen effluvium, such as postpartum, the discontinuing of the use of oral contraceptives or hormone replacement, infections and diseases accompanied by high fever, physical or emotional trauma, postoperative , thyroid disease, nutritional deficiencies (iron, zinc and protein) or very restrictive diets (with or without drugs).

Characteristics and symptoms

Usually, hair loss begins 2-4 months after the triggering factor, for example, after delivery, the most common cause. Hair loss may be quite intense, startling the patient who is faced with a large number of loose strands of hair after combing or washing the hair.

Considering that the loss of about 100 strands of hair per day is considered normal, the number of strands that is lost must be greater than this. The disease is not accompanied by any other symptoms, but may be associated with other diseases such as seborrheic dermatitis (photo below) that, when intense, may also be a trigger factor for the telogen effluvium.

Normally, hair loss resolves in 3-6 months. If it persists for longer than that, some not diagnosed factor may be keeping the active efflux.


Treatment consists of correction of the causes, when food deficiencies or emotional disorders are detected. Diets rich in protein and certain vitamins may help. Associated diseases should be controled. The dermatologist may also indicate medications to be applied directly onto the scalp in order to control the process and stimulate the growth of new hair.

It is important to remember that the hair loss occurs rapidly but the growth of new hair takes time. Therefore, the therapeutic results to be expected is the hair loss returning to a number of up to 100 strands of hair per day. The recovery and growth of hair will be noticed gradually.

Related articles

- Androgenic alopecia
- Seborrheic dermatitis

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