Alopecia & Telogen Effluvium: Get The Facts
Alopecia & Telogen Effluvium: The Least You Should Know
There are two types of hair loss: cicatricial orscarring alopecia and non-scarring alopecia. Cicatrical alopecia results in permanent hair loss. The three most common types of non-scarring alopecia are androgenic alopecia, telogen effluvium, and alopecia areata.
The most common cause of hair loss is androgenic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness. Male pattern baldness is a hair loss that occurs in men due to the action of androgens, which are male hormones. The other two types of non-scarring alopecia, telogen effluvium and alopecia areata, are caused by different factors.
Telogen effluvium is a condition characterized by excessive shedding of hair, usually accompanied by alopecia. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, medication, and hormones.
It is common in women who are experiencing hormonal fluctuations during peri-menstrual periods, pregnancy, or menopause. Although it affects mostly women, men may experience it too. Men tend to lose their facial and body hair, while women lose their scalp hair and sometimes eyebrows.
When telogen effluvium occurs, it causes the hair follicles to enter the telogen or resting phase. In the telogen phase, there’s an increased production of sebum, or oil in the scalp. This oily substance attracts the hair follicles, causing them to become overactive and produce hair, then shed the extra hair as the follicles shrink back down to normal size.
When hair follicles enter the resting phase, they go through a stage called catagen. During catagen, the hair follicles lose their ability to produce new cells, causing the hair to fall out. After the catagen stage ends, the hair follicles begin to regrow hairs, and the cycle starts over again.
During this phase, new hairs do not grow to replace them. This process can last for several months, and can result in the loss of a significant amount of hair.
Lastly, telogen effluvium can be triggered by emotional stress, illness, surgery, or childbirth. Your doctor may want to monitor your hormone levels. Medication, particularly antidepressants, birth control pills, and some antihistamines can trigger telogen effluvium. Antidepressants should not be taken while trying to treat any hormonal imbalance.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that results in the loss of hair on the scalp, as well as on the body. In alopecia areata, the immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing the hair to fall out. The exact cause of alopecia areata is unknown, but it is believed to be related to stress. Alopecia areata can be very devastating, as it can result in the loss of all of the hair on the scalp.
Causes include hormones, stress, certain drugs, diet and genetics. Many people think that there is no treatment for alopecia areata. However, it is possible to treat it using steroid creams. Some people also use minoxidil, which increases blood flow to the scalp and helps stimulate hair growth.
Also, avoiding any food that might trigger allergic reactions, like dairy products, soybeans, peanuts and shellfish.
While cicatricial alopecia is permanent, the hair loss caused by telogen effluvium and alopecia areata is temporary. The hair loss from telogen effluvium usually lasts from two weeks to several months, and the hair loss from alopecia areata can last for years. However, both conditions can result in the loss of a significant amount of hair, and can be very distressing.
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