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What is Anagen Effluvium?

Anagen effluvium is a diffuse type of hair loss like Telogen effluvium but involves loss of anagen or growth-phase hair. The patients experience excessive hair loss within days of the causative factor. Anagen Effluvium happens due to the direct affection of anagen hair due to cell toxicity and can cause excessive hair loss within days.

Baldness due to Anagen effluvium
Baldness due to Anagen effluvium

How does Anagen Effluvium present?

There can be abrupt shedding of large amounts of hair from the scalp and eyebrows or other body parts. Pulling of hair results in easy pluck-ability. It can lead to partial or complete baldness of scalp. 

What causes Anagen effluvium?

Most commonly it is caused by radiation therapy to the head and systemic chemotherapy, especially with alkylating agents, antimetabolites and mitotic inhibitors. Other medications that can cause anagen effluvium include  cyclosporine, bismuth, lev, and possibly strontium ranelate. Some systemic disorders can cause anagen effluvium such as malnutrition, iron deficiency etc. The onset may be rapid (2 to 4 weeks after the cause). It can also affect eyebrows.

After the completion of drug therapy, the follicle regains its normal activity within a few weeks and hair regrowth typically occurs after 3 to 6 months. Sometimes people report of change in color and texture of their hair after chemotherapy induced hair loss and it may become more curlier and more or less these changes are permanent.

Treatment of Anagen effluvium:

Treatment  includes: Mesotherapy, supplements, LLLT, scalp cooling and cosmetic camouflage, topical blood flow enhancers.

Short Anagen Syndrome

Short Anagen Syndrome is a variant of anagen effluvium. In short Anagen Syndrome the  hair is unable to grow long because of an extremely short anagen phase. Hair  go through a full hair cycle (anagen, catagen and telogen phase) but they fall out before they grow longer than 3 to 6 cm.  Hair density is usually normal, but with many hairs of different lengths.

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