What are the treatment options for telogen effluvium?

Updated: Jun 13, 2018
  • Author: Elizabeth CW Hughes, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Because acute telogen effluvium is a reactive process, which resolves spontaneously, treatment usually is limited to reassurance. Any reversible cause of hair shedding, such as poor diet, iron deficiency, hypothyroidism, or medication use, should be corrected.

While chronic telogen effluvium is less likely to resolve rapidly, reassurance is appropriate for these patients. Often, the knowledge that the hair loss will not progress to baldness is comforting to the patient. The patient should be encouraged to style the hair in a way that masks any perceived defects in hair density.

While topical minoxidil is not proven to promote recovery of hair in telogen effluvium, this medication has a theoretical benefit and is well tolerated. Patients who are eager to play an active role in their treatment may choose to use minoxidil.


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