Telogen effluvium ("TE") is a type of hair loss where individuals experience increased daily hair shedding. Instead of losing 30-40 or 50 hairs per day, the individual experiences loss of 60, 70, 80 or more hairs in any given day. The numbers can exceed 500 depending on the cause of the shedding. Common causes of TE include low iron (low ferritin), anemias, thyroid problems, crash diets, weight loss, stress, surgery, medications (ie lithium, some blood pressure pills, retinoids (vitamin A pills)). Any significant illness inside the body (ie flu, autoimmune disease) or on the scalp surface (ie severe scalp psoriasis or severe seborrheic dermatitis) can cause a telogen effluvium.
This picture shows a typical trichoscopic appearance of someone with a "TE." Numerous short pointy hairs, known as "upright regrowing hairs (URH)" can be seen.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299