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Telogen effluvium is a scalp disorder characterized by the thinning or shedding of hair resulting from the early entry of hair in the telogen phase (the resting phase of the hair follicle).[1][2] Emotional or physiological stress may result in an alteration of the normal hair cycle and cause the disorder, with potential causes including eating disorders, fever[citation needed], pregnancy and childbirth, chronic illness, major surgery, anemia, severe emotional disorders, crash diets, hypothyroidism, and drugs.[1][3]

Telogen effluvium
Malnurished Afghan Child.jpg
An Afghan child displaying hair loss due to severe malnutrition.
Specialty Dermatology Edit this on Wikidata

Diagnostic tests, which may be performed to verify the diagnosis, include a trichogram, trichoscopy[4] and biopsy.[3] Effluvium can present with similar appearance to alopecia totalis, with further distinction by clinical course, microscopic examination of plucked follicles, or biopsy of the scalp.[5] Histology would show telogen hair follicles in the dermis with minimal inflammation in effluvium, and dense peribulbar lymphocytic infiltrate in alopecia totalis.[6]

Vitamin D levels may also play a role in normal hair cycle.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Marks, James G; Miller, Jeffery (2006). Lookingbill and Marks' Principles of Dermatology (4th ed.). Elsevier Inc. Page 263. ISBN 1-4160-3185-5.
  2. ^ James, William; Berger, Timothy; Elston, Dirk (2005). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. (10th ed.). Saunders. ISBN 0-7216-2921-0.
  3. ^ a b Freedberg, et al. (2003). Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-138076-0.
  4. ^ Rudnicka L, Olszewska M, Rakowska A, Kowalska-Oledzka E, Slowinska M (2008). "Trichoscopy: a new method for diagnosing hair loss". J Drugs Dermatol. 7 (7): 651–654. PMID 18664157.
  5. ^ Werner, B.; Mulinari-Brenner, F. (2012). "Clinical and histological challenge in the differential diagnosis of diffuse alopecia: Female androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium and alopecia areata - part II". Anais brasileiros de dermatologia. 87 (6): 884–890. PMID 23197208.
  6. ^ Alkhalifah, A. (2012). "Alopecia Areata Update". Dermatologic Clinics. 31 (1): 93–108. doi:10.1016/j.det.2012.08.010. PMID 23159179.
  7. ^ Does D matter? The role of vitamin D in hair disorders and hair follicle cycling. Dermatol Online J. 2010 Feb; 16(2). PMID 20178699

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