DESCRIPTIONTelogen effluvium is generalized hair loss in which numerous scattered hair follicles simultaneously change from the growing phase to the resting stage of the hair-growth cycle. Children with telogen effluvium rarely progress to significant baldness, and it is not contagious. The hair and scalp are involved. Telogen effluvium can affect both sexes and all ages but is most common in young females (age 8 through adolescence).
Appropriate health care includes:
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSHair loss of 4 to 5 times the normal rate. Normal hair loss is approximately 400 hairs a day, mostly during washing or brushing.
No itching or pain.
CAUSESHormonal changes, such as those that occur during adolescence, following childbirth, or after discontinuing use of oral contraceptives.
Severe psychological or physical stress--including that of serious illness, such as high fever, serious infection, injury, or loss of a loved one.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCENo specific preventive measures.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor (severe, prolonged cases only).
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSNone expected.
Spontaneous recovery in 6 to 12 months.
HOME CAREInstructions for your child:
Continue to wash and brush your hair as usual.
Confront and define areas of conflict in your family and school life and in your leisure-time activities. If you cannot resolve conflicts, ask for help from family, friends, or competent counselors.
Aim for a balance of work, study, recreation, reflection, and rest.
Concentrate on feeling positive. A good attitude toward yourself and others is a powerful asset.
MEDICATIONMedicine usually is not necessary for this disorder.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
No restrictions. Your child should engage in a regular exercise program at least 3 times a week to reduce stress and maintain good overall fitness.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet or supplements. Your child should eat a normal, well-balanced diet to provide the nutrients necessary for healthy hair growth.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child's hair loss doesn't improve in 4 months.
Signs of infection (pain, redness, tenderness, swelling) begin at the site of hair loss.