Telogen Effluvium Treatment & Management

Updated: Jun 13, 2018
  • Author: Elizabeth CW Hughes, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Treatment

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.

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Surgical Care

Hair transplantation is not an effective treatment for telogen effluvium.

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Diet

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.

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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.

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