Telogen Effluvium - a review of the science and current obstacles

J Dermatol Sci. 2021 Mar;101(3):156-163. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2021.01.007. Epub 2021 Jan 23.


Telogen effluvium (TE) is a common cause of diffuse non-scarring hair loss that is usually precipitated by physiological stress such as childbirth or sudden weight loss. Despite its high rate of remission, this phenomenon of sudden excessive hair loss can be very worrisome and upsetting for affected individuals and may significantly impact their quality of life. Due to the multifactorial causes and precipitants of TE, it is often challenging to diagnose and manage. Further, the mechanisms through which physiological stress influences the human hair cycle is unknown, and there are no targeted treatments for the management of TE. This review will describe the approach in making a diagnosis of TE, summarize the latest developments made in understanding the mechanisms of TE, outline the treatments tried, and recommend ways for advancing the study of this dermatological condition.

Keywords: Alopecia; Diffuse non-scarring hair loss; Future directions; Hair; Literature review; Telogen Effluvium.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Administration, Topical
  • Alopecia Areata / diagnosis
  • Alopecia Areata / etiology*
  • Alopecia Areata / psychology
  • Alopecia Areata / therapy
  • Anxiety / complications
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Biopsy
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Counseling
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Hair Follicle / drug effects
  • Hair Follicle / growth & development*
  • Hair Follicle / pathology
  • Humans
  • Minoxidil / administration & dosage
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Quality of Life
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage


  • Plant Extracts
  • Vitamin D
  • Minoxidil

Supplementary concepts

  • Diffuse alopecia