Difference between telogen effluvium and androgenetic alopecia
Both telogen effluvium and androgenetic alopecia are common causes of hair loss, however, their origins and mechanisms of action differ significantly. In this article we will see the differences between telogen effluvium and androgenetic alopecia, so that you can identify them and give them a solution in time.
Generally, our patients come to our office alarmed by their hair loss, looking for urgent solutions to their hair problem. Anxiety has probably led them to try non-specific commercial treatments in the past, without knowing the real causes of their baldness.
In this situation, we clarify that the first step is to perform a hair analysis to know the type of hair loss that the patient presents. From this information we can propose one or another treatment/intervention and obtain the expected results.
In this sense, differentiating telogen effluvium from androgenic alopecia is important because their treatment is not the same. In addition, both conditions present different manifestations and evolution.
Before establishing the differences between telogen effluvium and androgenetic alopecia, we will see what each of these hair problems consists of.
Androgenetic alopecia, as we have mentioned in previous articles, can occur in both men and women. The different degrees of male alopecia are expressed on the Norwood-Hamilton scale, while the Ludwig scale is used to classify the stages of female alopecia.
Regarding its onset and development, androgenetic alopecia begins on the frontal, receding hairline and crown of the head in men, and on the central part of the head in women. From its onset, alopecia will gradually spread, becoming more evident with time.
Telogen effluvium is a sudden and generalized hair loss, which occurs all over the head and causes approximately 300 hairs to fall out per day. This happens when a large number of follicles go into telogen phase in response to a certain triggering event.
Let us now take a look at the most important differences between telogen effluvium and androgenic alopecia:
- Androgenetic alopecia manifests itself slowly and progressively growing in the affected areas. Telogen effluvium, on the other hand, occurs abruptly and the person observes large amounts of hair on the pillow, comb, floor, etc.
- Telogen effluvium is a temporary and reversible phenomenon, unlike androgenetic alopecia, which becomes chronic if not treated. Moreover, the latter is irreversible once the damage is caused, since it generates the death of the follicles.
- Regarding the areas affected, alopecia - if it is not DUPA - is localized in certain areas, such as frontal, receding hairline and crown. On the contrary, telogen effluvium acts on the whole head at the same time.
- We also find differences between telogen effluvium and androgenetic alopecia when evaluating their causes. While alopecia is caused by the action of hormones that weaken the follicles, telogen effluvium responds to an event that generates a negative impact, this can be an illness, the intake of certain medications, stress or pregnancy.
But there are not all differences between telogen effluvium and alopecia, as we will see below we also find similarities between them:
- Both hair loss conditions can be treated. The important thing is to know what type of baldness you are dealing with and take the necessary measures. Androgenic alopecia has no definitive cure, but it can be stabilized with anti-androgen treatment.
- Both telogen effluvium and alopecia can occur in men and women indistinctly.
- On the other hand, both problems need to be evaluated and treated by an expert trichologist if safe and effective solutions are to be found.
Finally, if you are going through any of these hair problems, it is important to remember that diet is a relevant factor and certain foods will help strengthen hair follicles. On the other hand, we recommend avoiding stress and requesting a hair evaluation consultation to initiate the actions indicated by the doctor in time.