Dr. Preethi Nagaraj
Hair falling in clumps??
A sudden onset of severe hair fall can be quite alarming! As a dermatologist in Kochi, I often get patients who bring the hair that they are losing in plastic bags to show me the extent of hair fall they are having.
This type of hair fall where patients lose more than 100 hairs per day is medically termed as " Telogen Effluvium". There are several causes why hair can suddenly fall in excess.
1. After a fever -
If you have had a high fever in the last 3 months, it could reflect on you hair as excessive hair fall. It is more common after fevers like Dengue, Chikungunya and severe types of viral fevers.
2. Post Covid Hair Loss - This has become a very common problem in the last 2 years. Patients who have recovered from covid infection can experience severe hair fall 2-3 months following the infection.
3. Post Partum Telogen Effluvium - During pregnancy, hair fall is almost nil under the influence of progesterone hormone. But following delivery, women can abruptly start losing lots of hair when the baby is 3-6 months old.
4. Mental Stress - An episode of severe mental stress can also cause severe hair fall.
5. Nutritional deficiencies - Anaemia, Vitamin D deficiency, Vitamin B 12 deficiency and Zinc deficiency can all contribute to severe hair fall. Hair is like a mirror of our internal health and nutritional deficiencies can reflect as hair fall.
6. Crash dieting and sudden weight loss - Diets like keto diets , crash dieting which involves drinking only juices/ eating only vegetables, etc can disturb the hair cycle and lead to severe hair fall 2 months after starting the diet. Though you may lose weight, you will lose your hair too if you do not have a balanced diet plan.
What is the solution for severe hair fall?
The good news about telogen effluvium is that it is a temporary disturbance in the hair growth cycle and usually reverts back to normal in 3 months time. Vitamin supplements and hair regrowth serums containing procapil, capixyl and amino acids can help in arresting excessive hair shedding and stimulate hair regrowth.
Procedures are rarely required in acute telogen effluvium. At Twacha Skin and hair Clinic, we follow evidence based medicine based on medical literature and research. As a tricologist in Kochi, I have seen patients being treated with PRP ( Platelet Rich Plasma ) treatment even in situations where it is not indicated or helpful. Telogen effluvium is a condition where PRP will not be very useful.
A thorough history, systematic approach and correct diagnosis is very important in treating telogen effluvium.