Minoxidil is not a simple patch for TE
I'm often asked if minoxidil can be used for a telogen effluvium which is a hair shedding condition where the amount of daily hair shedding goes up. The answer is (unfortunately) ... maybe.
Key to helping stop a shedding problem is determining the cause!
Minoxidil can sometimes help a patient with a telogen effluvium. However the key treatment is to figure out the cause of the patient's shedding including:
- stressful events (bereavement, break up and financial problems)
- thyroid problems
- nutritional issues (weight loss, bowel problems)
- crash diets
- low iron
- medications (antidepressants, lithium, beta blockers, heparin)
- internal illnesses (lupus, autoimmune disease, cancers)
What tests are needed for anyone with shedding?
Blood tests and a full comprehensive examination is needed for anyone with a telogen effluvium.
Yes, Minoxidil can help a proportion with TE but not everyone. It some it makes worse. Telogen effluvium (if truly the diagnosis) can be challenging to treat. I advise patients to get expert advice rather than self diagnose and attempt to patch the situation.
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