Coping With Telogen Effluvium and Alopecia Areata

 Coping With Telogen Effluvium and Alopecia Areata


By Richard Mitchell

Coping hair loss


Telogen effluvium is a hair loss condition that is characterized by a general thinning of the hair over a period of months. It is usually found in people who have recently experienced trauma with common causes including childbirth, major surgery and severe illness. It occurs when one or more factors interfere with the normal growth cycle and manifests when large numbers of hairs are prematurely pushed from the growth (anagen) phase into the resting (telogen) phase. The telogen hairs are loosely attached at the roots and fall out easily. Fortunately, this unnatural growth behavior is only temporary and completely reversible.


Diagnosis of telogen effluvium involves a three step process:



Assess the type of hair loss suffered - generally telogen effluvium is typified by a rapid thinning throughout the scalp rather than the localized loss evident in most other conditions.



Review life events over the previous six months - typically some sort of traumatic event will have occurred.



Undergo a hormone test to rule out other abnormalities.



As far as treatment is concerned, telogen effluvium usually disappears as the effects of the trauma previously experienced begin to wear off. Consequently, there are no treatments specific to this condition although a product such as minoxidil (Rogaine) may help to accelerate the regrowth process. You can find out more about telogen effluvium and other forms of hair loss at the author's site listed below.



Alopecia areata is a condition that is typified by patchy hair loss over the scalp or body. It comes in several forms ranging from a single patch to total body hair loss (alopecia universalis). Its cause may be difficult to diagnose but many cases appear to link directly to imbalances in the immune system that can be treated effectively. In most cases hair will reappear on its own but some patients develop more extreme variations that are more difficult to treat. It is important that sufferers diagnose their condition correctly by visiting their doctor and undergoing a series of blood tests to check factors such as hormone levels. This will allow your physician or dermatologist to accurately diagnose your condition and recommend an appropriate treatment regime.



The treatment chosen will depend on the causes identified by the blood tests as any underlying problems must be addressed first. In severe forms of alopecia areata successful treatment may prove problematic. In other cases the problem may rectify itself without external treatment. At present successful treatment regimes are somewhat limited but the following may prove useful in stimulating hair growth:



• Daily application of minoxidil (Rogaine).



• Injection of cortisone into patchy areas of the scalp (this must be administered by a physician). Creams and lotions containing cortisone can also be used but results are variable.


• Dithranol can be applied to the scalp in mild or early cases.


• Application of 100% aloe vera gel.


• Massage the scalp with rosemary and lavender essential oils in a jojoba base.


• Use of a hair loss product containing the Chinese herb He Shou Wu.



• A product called Calosol has recently generated positive feedback.



Please note, however, that none of these is guaranteed to work due to the unpredictable nature of alopecia areata. It is this uncertainty that offers opportunities for scamsters to make outlandish claims. The fact remains, there are no miracle cures for advanced forms of alopecia areata so sufferers may wish to consider other options such as head coverings and wigs. This does not mean that patients are without hope because, even in severe cases, hair can spontaneously start to grow again even after years of loss. You can find out more about alopecia areata and other forms of hair loss at the author's site listed below.


Richard Mitchell is the creator of the web site at myhairlossadvisor.com website that provides information and guidance to those suffering from premature hair loss. richard@myhairlossadvisor.com