The term effluvium, i.e. outflow, generally refers to hair loss conditions. They affect several phases of one’s hair growth cycle. The hair follicles on a human being’s scalp do not produce hair constantly. Their growth occurs in cycles and the growth stage can last for longer than 2 years. After that they return to a resting phase, which can last for as long as 2 months, before they begin growing new hair fibre again. On average, a healthy human being’s scalp has 80-90% of its hair follicles growing hair. The remaining 10-20% lay dormant in a state called telogen, during which hair fibre isn’t produced. Telogen Effluvium (TE) comes about during the telogen phase if there is a significant reduction in the amount of hair follicles growing hair fibre. This leads to shedding of hair or TE hair loss. TE is widely regarded by dermatologists as the second most prevalent form of hair loss.
One can develop Telogen Effluvium in three possible ways. A shock, such as extreme temperatures or injury, that affects the scalp could possible lead to follicles ending up in the telogen state. Another trigger may take place when hair follicles enter the resting state under normal circumstances, but they end up staying in that state. Lastly, when hair follicles go through truncated growth cycles. This can lead to sparse patches of hair.
Symptoms of Telogen Effluvium
TE usually appears on the scalp as a diffuse thinning of hair. While it can appear all over the scalp, it sometimes appears to be more severe in particular sections of the scalp compared to others. The most common symptom is thinning of hair that is on the top of one’s scalp, in comparison to the scalp’s sides and back. In rare cases where a chronic case of TE is detected, there may even be hairline recession.
You can tell if TE has caused the hair fall by looking at the roots. If the roots appear to have tiny bulbs of keratin, these are telogen hairs. TE usually only affects the scalp, but at times can affect one’s eyebrows and even pubic regions.
Treatment of Telogen Effluvium
Regardless of how badly one has been affected by TE, it is completely reversible. This is mainly because the affected hair follicles have not been damaged permanently. It’s just that the person has an abnormally high proportion of hair follicles in the resting state. The most commonly prescribed treatment includes dietary adjustments and increasing one’s intake of nutritional supplements. If your diet lacks a sufficient quantity of protein, you could be depriving your body of an important protein called keratin, which helps hair growth. It is vital that the body has the recommended balance of vitamins and minerals for protein synthesis. Two key nutrients that can help in providing proteins and promoting hair growth are biotin and Vitamin E. Protein supplements and amino acids can also assist in treating Telogen Effluvium. A head massage can also help because it increases the flow of blood to the scalp. This ensures that the nutrient-rich blood gives the scalp everything it needs.
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