The Link Between Stress and Telogen Effluvium

Between Stress

What is Telogen Effluvium?

Telogen effluvium is a condition in which a person loses an abnormal amount of hair from the scalp or other parts of the body. This type of hair loss is most often caused by a stressful event, physical or emotional trauma, or illness. It is a common cause of hair thinning, and results in a diffuse pattern of hair loss throughout the scalp.

The term telogen effluvium literally means “shedding from the end of the hair growth cycle.” Normally, a healthy person loses anywhere from sixty to one hundred hairs a day. If a person experiences telogen effluvium, he or she may shed up to three hundred hairs per day, or twice the normal amount. This kind of hair loss is usually temporary and usually lasts six months or less.

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Stress is one of the most common and significant factors that can lead to telogen effluvium. This type of hair loss typically occurs three to four months after a stressful event, whether it is physical or emotional. Some of the most common causes of stress related to telogen effluvium include:

  • Physical trauma or surgery – Having any kind of medical procedure or surgery can cause telogen effluvium.
  • Severe illness – Chronic or severe illnesses can cause telogen effluvium.
  • Lack of nutrition – A lack of nutrition, extreme dieting, or fad diets can cause telogen effluvium.
  • Hormonal changes – Rapid changes in hormones, such as during pregnancy or menopause, can cause telogen effluvium.
  • Emotional stress – Stressful emotional events, such as divorce or death, can cause telogen effluvium.

How Does Telogen Effluvium Impact Health?

The primary effect of telogen effluvium is hair loss, however, it can also have other impacts on physical and emotional health. Some of the most common effects include:

Physical Health Effects

  • Appearance changes – People can experience distress because of the noticeable hair loss caused by telogen effluvium.
  • Increased scalp sensitivity – Telogen effluvium can cause the scalp to become sensitive and itchy, which can make keeping the hair clean and styled difficult.
  • Scalp inflammation – Telogen effluvium can cause inflammation of the scalp, which can lead to other skin conditions like dandruff.

Emotional Health Effects

  • Embarrassment or self-consciousness – People with telogen effluvium can experience long-term emotional effects, such as embarrassment or self-consciousness because of the hair loss.
  • Low self-esteem – People with telogen effluvium can experience feelings of low self-esteem due to the physical changes that come with the condition.
  • Depression – Telogen effluvium can cause chronic depression and anxiety due to the emotional stress caused by the condition.

Conclusion

Telogen effluvium is a condition in which a person experiences an abnormal amount of hair loss. It is often caused by a stressful event, physical or emotional trauma, or a lack of nutrition. Stress is one of the most common causes of telogen effluvium, and the condition can have an impact on both physical and emotional health. If you are experiencing telogen effluvium, it is important to seek medical advice to determine the underlying cause and discuss treatment options.