Telogen Effluvium

Consider this diagnosis when a patient presents with a history of rapid, diffuse hair loss. Telogen effluvium affects the entire scalp, but the crown and bitemporal areas may appear to be mainly involved if there is associated androgenetic alopecia.

Consider this diagnosis when a patient presents with a history of rapid, diffuse hair loss. Telogen effluvium affects the entire scalp, but the crown and bitemporal areas may appear to be mainly involved if there is associated androgenetic alopecia.

In telogen effluvium, an insult to the body triggers abrupt cessation of growth of anagen hairs. The causes include serious illness with high fever, childbirth, major surgery, severe psychogenic distress, nutritional deficiencies, endocrinopathy, and various medications.

Because the hair loss of telogen effluvium occurs some time after the triggering event, patients frequently fail to make the connection. Here, history and timing are exceptionally important. Careful questioning will often reveal the cause.