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Telogen Effluvium – Most Common Types of Alopecia
Telogen Effluvium, one of the most common types of Alopecia, or hair loss, has not been heavily researched and thus is not yet a well-understood condition. It presents as an abnormal pattern of hair loss due to changes in the normal hair growth cycle. Telogen Effluvium most commonly affects head hair, but can affect any hair-bearing part of the body.
Human beings grow hair on almost every part of the body, the exception being the lips, eyelids, soles of the feet and palms of the hands. Hair itself is a modified type of skin cell that has three distinct phases of growth, technically known as the anagen (eruption), catagen (growth) and telagen (resting) phases. The shedding of the mature hair then follows the telagen phase. Additionally, the body grows different types of hair known as vellus (body and head hair) hair and androgenic (pubic) hair that have different cellular constructions. These differing constructions exhibit the same growth cycle but serve different purposes, primarily those of warmth and protection.
While a normal head of hair has most hairs in the growth stage and sheds approximately 100 hairs per day, a person suffering from Telogen Effluvium will have a greater percentage of hair in the resting phase and experience a greater rate of hair shedding. This shedding presents itself as a general thinning of hair and this hair loss may not be uniform in nature. Only rarely, in the case of ‘chronic’ Telogen Effluvium will the sufferer experience a receding hairline with this type of Alopecia. Also, usually only in the case of chronic Telogen Effluvium will a person experience hair loss on parts of the body other than the scalp.
The alteration of the hair growth cycle that causes Telogen Effluvium can be caused by numerous health-related factors; illness, surgery, childbirth, medications, poor nutrition, etc. Hormone changes, such as those that occur following childbirth are also known to trigger Telogen Effluvium in women. Another cause of hair loss related to Telogen Effluvium is poor nutrition, especially iron deficiency that can relate to a lack of red meat in the diet, anemia related to menstruation and/or poor diet related to substance abuse or severe dieting can also lead to this type of Alopecia.
Basically, anything that is a shock to the body can lead to this type of hair loss. Fortunately, this stress-related type of Alopecia is not permanent and the lost hair will regrow.