Chronic Telogen

Background

Chronic Telogen is a disorder of the scalp which is manifested by heavy hair loss during the last stage of hair, the telogen stage, from which it gets its name. Chronic telogen is caused by fever, childbirth, chronic illness, anemia, eating disorders, major surgery, hypothyroidism, emotional disorders, crash diets and drugs. There are several causes for this condition both physical and psychological.

Diagnosis for this condition is done by a test know as a trichogram. In order to understand the process of chronic telogen, it is required to understand the hair growth cycle. This is described below:

Hair Growth Cycle

There is no continuous growth of hair on the human scalp. The anagen phase of growth lasts for 3 to 7 years. The catagen phase is a transition phase when there is a regression following the involution of hair follicles. This is followed by the telogen phase which is a short period of about 100 days.

During this period, there is no hair growth. The end of the telogen phase is characterized with shedding of hair. Normally, the hair is shed and then begins a new cycle of growth. If this does not occur but the hair shedding in the telogen phase is excessive (well over 100 hairs per day), then it is known as chronic telogen.

Causes of Chronic Telogen

For switching large numbers of hair follicles from the anagen phase to the telogen phase, there should be some kind of systemic insult inflicted on the body. Chronic telogen does not occur as a result of topical medications. However, some common factors have been observed and they are as follows:

  • About 100 days after a woman has given birth, chronic telogen is known to occur. It is believed that the hormonal changes which take place at the end of pregnancy are the cause. In this case, the hair is usually restored within one year.
  • Other causes of chronic telogen are major physical trauma or a serious illness, severe psychological stress, crash diets, heavy metal poisoning and anemia.
  • Chronic telogen is even known to be caused by jet lag.

Steps to Prevent Chronic Telogen

  • The first step is to locate the trigger which caused chronic telogen in the first place. This may take considerable time and will require much patience as all previous activities of the person will have to be reviewed.
  • Next, medication and therapy should be administered to reduce the symptoms of the chronic telogen.
  • The final step to be taken is to investigate the possibility that the person may have potential future AGA or androgen sensitivity.
  • A final word: It would be a good idea to be aware of all the above causes of chronic telogen and try to avoid such situations occurring. If any such situation still does occur, steps could be taken at the initial stages to alleviate or reduce the effect.