Can COVID-19 Cause Hair Loss?

People who become ill with COVID-19 can have a wide variety of symptoms. Hair loss has been reported in people who have recovered from COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes hair loss as a potential long-term effect of COVID-19 that’s currently under investigation. We have also seen patients with stress-related hair loss who were so worried about dying earlier.

Stress-related hair shedding usually happens three months or longer after a triggering event. Experts say it’s not entirely clear why it takes that long, but the body may prematurely push hairs into the dormant phase of their growth cycle, which ultimately leads to the hair root shrinking and falling out.

We have seen reports that other doctor offices have noted more patients are seeking treatment for hair and skin issues caused by increased handwashing and stress. Patients also are seeking to have more cosmetic procedures because recuperation is easier while staying at home.

The Stress on body and how body respond to it?

The stress can trigger flares of acne and dandruff, as well as eczema, particularly among older patients who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 and may have feared for their health and finances.

For eczema, you may want to consider semi-warm 10 minutes showers using fragrance-free soap in the areas most often affected (armpits, groin, feet). Gently pat skin dry after a shower and moisturize while still damp with a thick cream or ointment. If moisturizing does not help the itchiness, try a drugstore antihistamine, and apply hydrocortisone to rough, raised patches of skin. If there is no improvement after a week, see a dermatologist. As for hair loss, it is best to see a professional from the start because shedding could signal a thyroid issue or anemia, and a physician can help rule out those more serious concerns by running labs tests. But if it’s just stress, hair loss supplements and time can help.

Why could COVID-19 cause hair loss?

The hair loss that is seen following COVID-19 is consistent with a condition called telogen effluvium (TE). People with TE report hair loss that comes on suddenly. Hair typically falls out in large clumps, often while brushing or showering. Most people who develop TE have noticeable hair loss 2 to 3 months after a triggering event. This typically affects less than half. After this period, most people find that the lost hair regrows.

The most common reasons for hair loss

The most common cause of hair loss is androgenic alopecia. You may also see this referred to as male or female pattern baldness. This type of hair loss is hereditary, meaning that you can inherit it from your parents. Androgenic alopecia occurs gradually as you age and has predictable patterns for men and women. Additional causes of hair loss can include:

  • Hormonal changes, including those that occur during pregnancy and menopause
  • Underlying health conditions, like alopecia areata, hair-pulling disorder (trichotillomania), or scalp ringworm
  • Stressors, as observed with telogen effluvium
  • Iron deficiency or other nutritional deficiencies
  • Some medications or therapies, such as those used to treat cancer, depression, and high blood pressure
  • Grooming practices that pull on your hair (traction alopecia) or are harsh to your hair

Alternative treatments

Many alternative treatments for hair loss have been explored. While some show promise. A few examples of alternative hair loss treatments are, Amino acids, Vitamin D, Fish oil, Onion juice, Rosemary oil and Saw palmetto.

Microneedling RF technology Treatment Option

While used as an anti-aging skin treatment, Microneedling RF technology may also be a method of treatment for hair loss. There’s even evidence that it can help a special type of hair loss known as alopecia areata. The same process of creating wounds in the skin is also thought to regenerate the health of the hair follicles. Click here to book your next appointment >>>

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