Indian Journal of Dermatology
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 246-250

Assessment of heavy metal and trace element levels in patients with telogen effluvium

1 Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Yuzuncu Yıl University, Tusba, Van, Turkey
2 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Art, Yuzuncu Yil University, Tusba, Van, Turkey
3 Medical Documentation and Secretary, Vocational School of Health Services, Yuzuncu Yil University, Tusba, Van, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ibrahim Halil Yavuz
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Yuzuncu Y.l University, Tusba 65100, Van
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijd.IJD_610_17

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Background: Despite a multitude of studies, etiology of primary chronic telogen effluvium (TE) remains incompletely understood. Essential heavy metals are associated with beneficial effects in humans as well as in other living organisms. However, they may lead to toxic effects when the exposure exceeds the higher tolerable limits. We wanted to assess the heavy metal and trace element levels in patients with chronic TE. Materials and Methods: A total of 40 subjects with chronic TE were included in the study, and 30 healthy women served as control. General and dermatological examinations were taken up in all individuals. Those patients with positive hair pull test were evaluated with the help of a trichogram. The presence of >20% telogen hair as documented by trichogram was a requirement for the study inclusion. UNICAM-929 spectrophotometry device was used for determining serum trace element and heavy metal concentrations. Results: In spite of an absence of significant differences in terms of average Zn concentration, weight, or height between patients and controls, significant differences were noted for Cd, Fe, Mg, Mn, Pb, Co, and Cu (P<0.05). Conclusion: Our results suggest that heavy metals may play a causative role in the development of chronic TE. However, contrary to previous reports, zinc did not appear to play an important etiological role, while these patients had elevated serum iron levels.

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