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Telogen Effluvium Treatment & Management

  • Author: Elizabeth CW Hughes, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: May 03, 2016

Medical Care

Because acute telogen effluvium is a reactive process, which resolves spontaneously, treatment usually is limited to reassurance. Any reversible cause of hair shedding, such as poor diet, iron deficiency, hypothyroidism, or medication use, should be corrected.

While chronic telogen effluvium is less likely to resolve rapidly, reassurance is appropriate for these patients. Often, the knowledge that the hair loss will not progress to baldness is comforting to the patient. The patient should be encouraged to style the hair in a way that masks any perceived defects in hair density.

While topical minoxidil is not proven to promote recovery of hair in telogen effluvium, this medication has a theoretical benefit and is well tolerated. Patients who are eager to play an active role in their treatment may choose to use minoxidil.


Surgical Care

Hair transplantation is not an effective treatment for telogen effluvium.



If an unbalanced diet is believed to be a contributing factor to telogen effluvium, especially in a case of chronic telogen effluvium, consultation with a dietitian may be extremely helpful. The dietary consultation should focus on adequate protein intake, replenishing low iron stores, and obtaining essential nutrients. If the patient takes large doses of vitamin A, this practice should be stopped.


Long-Term Monitoring

In most cases, the patient is satisfied with an explanation of the cause and expected course of the condition. If a patient is distraught about hair loss, intermittent office visits for reassurance may be necessary.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Elizabeth CW Hughes, MD Dermatologist, Group Health Cooperative

Elizabeth CW Hughes, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

David F Butler, MD Section Chief of Dermatology, Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System; Professor of Dermatology, Texas A&M University College of Medicine; Founding Chair, Department of Dermatology, Scott and White Clinic

David F Butler, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Medical Association, Alpha Omega Alpha, Association of Military Dermatologists, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for MOHS Surgery, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Edward F Chan, MD Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Edward F Chan, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Society of Dermatopathology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Leonard Sperling, MD Chair, Professor, Department of Dermatology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Leonard Sperling, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Telogen effluvium secondary to hypothyroidism.
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