Chronic Telogen Effluvium and Androgenetic Alopecia are Separate Conditions
Chronic telogen effluvium ("CTE" for short) is a hair shedding condition that occurs in women age 35-60 years. Often women have extremely thick hair to begin with. Affected patients often look like they have a lot of hair, even though they may have lost considerable amounts.
Does CTE turn into AGA?
So does chronic telogen effluvium "turn into" AGA? This is a common concern among patients. For most patients, the answer seems to be no. It appears that many patients who shed, especially women over 50, don't go on to develop genetic hair loss. They simply shed.
A nice study by Australian dermatologist Dr Rodney Sinclair followed 5 patients over a period of 7 years. Patients were photographed year after year after year. In 4 of the 5 patients (in other words 80 %) there was no change in the overall density between year 1 and 5. Only 1 patient developed androgenetic alopecia during this time.
Overall, it appears that for most women with CTE, the norm is not to develop androgenetic alopecia. The norm is to keep shedding.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887