Can catching COVID-19 trigger some folks to lose their hair? In some circumstances, sure.
W. Katherine Kao, MD, facial plastic and reconstruction surgeon with UT Physicians Texas Middle for Facial Plastic Surgical procedure and assistant professor of otorhinolaryngology with McGovern Medical Faculty at UTHealth Houston, confirmed an increase in hair loss circumstances in folks identified with COVID-19.
Typically, the underlying trigger was telogen effluvium, or diffuse shedding of hair. A excessive fever, extreme sickness, emotional stress, being pregnant, or different stressors to the physique can also set off telogen effluvium and trigger folks to shed as much as 50% of their hair.
Whereas this can be distressing, the excellent news is that that is solely non permanent.
“Whereas the diffuse hair loss following COVID-19 could have been triggered from the viral an infection itself or the stress of the pandemic, normally the situation is benign and self-limited,” Kao stated. “We sometimes see hair develop again with noticeable enchancment round six to 9 months after onset.”
Anybody dropping noticeable quantities of hair ought to see a dermatologist or hair loss specialist for an intensive analysis. well being historical past and bodily examination are the primary steps in evaluating any hair loss.
Though most circumstances of pandemic-related hair loss are because of telogen effluvium, there could be different underlying hair loss circumstances, akin to alopecia areata, that may be triggered by COVID-19. You will need to differentiate between telogen effluvium and different hair loss circumstances as a result of the remedies are totally different.
For circumstances associated to COVID-19, reassurance that the hair will develop again is step one in administration. Encouraging sufferers to eat a well-balanced food plan of fruits, greens, and protein is the subsequent step as a result of dietary deficiencies can have an effect on hair progress and contribute to short-term hair loss.
“We could examine for underlying dietary deficiencies, akin to iron and vitamin D. Iron deficiency is a widely known reason for hair loss, and analysis has proven a correlation between telogen effluvium and vitamin D ranges,” Kao stated. “We can also suggest a multivitamin or topical minoxidil to assist hair progress.”
Even when the issue is short-lived, it’s useful to see a doctor for prognosis, steering, and help.
“Hair is such an essential a part of who we’re and the way we establish ourselves, and it may be very tense for these going by it,” Kao stated. “Though the hair loss from COVID is simply non permanent in almost all circumstances, we’re right here to supply recommendation and reassurance to assist get our sufferers by this tense time.”