Can catching COVID-19 trigger some individuals to lose their hair? In some instances, sure.
W. Katherine Kao, MD, facial plastic and reconstruction surgeon with UT Physicians Texas Heart for Facial Plastic Surgical procedure and assistant professor of otorhinolaryngology with McGovern Medical Faculty at UTHealth Houston, confirmed an increase in hair loss instances in individuals identified with COVID-19.
Usually, 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 individuals to shed as much as 50% of their hair.
Whereas this can be distressing, the excellent news is that that is solely short-term.
“Whereas the diffuse hair loss following COVID-19 could have been triggered from the viral an infection itself or the stress of the pandemic, generally the situation is benign and self-limited,” Kao mentioned. “We sometimes see hair develop again with noticeable enchancment round six to 9 months after onset.”
Anybody shedding noticeable quantities of hair ought to see a dermatologist or hair loss specialist for a radical analysis. well being historical past and bodily examination are the primary steps in evaluating any hair loss.
Though most instances of pandemic-related hair loss are as a consequence of telogen effluvium, there may be different underlying hair loss circumstances, corresponding 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 therapies are totally different.
For instances associated to COVID-19, reassurance that the hair will develop again is step one in administration. Encouraging sufferers to devour a well-balanced weight-reduction plan of fruits, greens, and protein is the following 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, corresponding to iron and vitamin D. Iron deficiency is a well known reason for hair loss, and analysis has proven a correlation between telogen effluvium and vitamin D ranges,” Kao mentioned. “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 analysis, 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 aggravating for these going by way of it,” Kao mentioned. “Though the hair loss from COVID is simply short-term in almost all instances, we’re right here to offer recommendation and reassurance to assist get our sufferers by way of this aggravating time.”