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Anagen Effluvium Hair Loss

Anagen effluvium is the opposite of telogen effluvium and describes hair loss that occurs during the first phase of the hair’s growth cycle.

How It Works

anageneffluviumYour hair follicles produce hair on a cycle; the first stage of this cycle is called the “anagen” stage and this is where the hair grows. The second stage, called “telogen”, is the resting phase for the follicle. While telogen effluvium is the more common of the 2, anagen is the one that can lead to complete hair loss. Of the number of hairs on a human head, around 10 to 15% are either in the catagen or the telogen phase of hair growth.

Diagnosis

You can tell the difference between telogen effluvium and anagen effluvium by where the hair starts falling out. Anagen effluvium can affect all of the hair on a person’s head, including the eyebrows, eyelashes, and can also include hair on the body. It may leave you mostly or completely bald.

The hair is also examined and the difference between telogen and anagen hair loss is somewhat easy to tell. Telogen hairs have a roundish bulb or club at the root end of them, while anagen hairs are often tapered, broken, or irregular.

Causes

There are a number of causes of anagen effluvium, but here are a few of them.

  • Colchicine
  • Arsenic
  • Bismuth
  • alopecia areata
  • pemphigus vulgaris
  • syphylis
  • hypothyroidism
  • lymphoma
  • iron deficiency
  • infection
  • diabetes mellitus

But, the most common and widely known cause of anagen effluvium is toxicity due to chemotherapy agents. High doses of medications such as doxorubicin, nitrosoureas, and cyclophosphamide are linked with severe cases of hair loss.

Radiation to a person’s scalp can cause hair loss, but in this case, the hair may grow back some or it may not grow back at all.

Treatments

If the anagen effluvium is due to chemotherapy, the hair is expected to grow back anywhere from 3 to 6 months after ceasing it.

Scalp cooling is suggested during chemotherapy to help, along with topical minoxidil solution.

Sometimes people who had straight hair before chemotherapy can develop curly hair when it regrows.

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