Does covid-19 cause hair loss? This is what the experts say

Dermatologists warn about the increase in patients with hair loss after covid-19 infection. They recommend not to self-medicate.

Covid-19. In short, it felt like a particularly strange flu. My case did not require hospitalization, but I exhibited some acute symptoms, such as a 39.5 degree fever and shortness of breath.

Fortunately I improved and I joined the more than four million recovered in the country, everything was apparently normal but I began to notice that my hair was falling more and more.

The stress generated by illness or hospitalization, anxiety, depression or insomnia can affect the capillary cycle and induce falls. In addition, I spoke with other experts and consulted studies to find out if this coronavirus had something to do with hair loss. It is normal for around 100 to 200 hairs to fall from the scalp a day, even if we do not perceive it.

The effects of covid-19 can last up to six months after being infected. A scientific article published in the journal Nature Medicine revealed that in the United States 32.6% of patients reported persistent symptoms, in Europe 87.4% and in China 76%. Among the most common conditions are fatigue, muscle pain, anxiety, depression, breathing difficulties and hair loss.

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Another scientific article published in The Lancet described the long-term effects of 1,733 patients discharged from Jin Yin-Tan Hospital in Wuhan, China. 63% reported fatigue or muscle pain, 26% sleep problems, 22% hair loss and 11% smell disorders, among other conditions.

The literature published so far obtains the information through telephone calls to patients who were hospitalized. That means that most of the studies do not take into account patients like me, who did not enter a hospital, but still had atypical hair loss.

After reviewing these studies, I discovered that what happened to me is more common than I thought and that, like me, there may be millions of people wondering whether or not their hair loss has to do with the coronavirus.

What does hair have to do with covid-19?

Several dermatologists and trichologists state that their consultations increased as a result of severe hair loss in patients recovered from covid-19.

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Absolutely impressive the number of patients (especially women) that we are receiving with “acute telogen effluvium”: massive hair loss due to stress (either  confinement or  COVID-19).

The dermatologist Ana Claudia Rivas, internist and head of residents of the Dermatology Service of the Hospital de Clínicas in Asunción, Paraguay, also noted the increase in cases and the importance of consulting a specialist.

Post covid hair loss is something I see almost daily in the office. It is called telogen effluvium, and although it is very desperate (precisely because of the amount of hair that falls), it is temporary. Likewise, it is always best to consult a

Now it is very common to see patients who consult after having had COVID-19 or being locked up by quarantines. This is due to a massive fall due to an alteration in the follicular cycle (telogen effluvium). This means that the hair follicles (opening on the surface of the skin in which the hair grows) prematurely enter a phase of rest and fall.

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What do the experts recommend?

The first recommendation is to attend a dermatological consultation in order to study each particular case.

The virus can have multiple effects. The endocrinological part can be altered, that is why the thyroid must be checked. Also to study if the patient is anemic and to look at the levels of ferritin (a protein responsible for transporting, releasing and storing iron in a controlled way).

Another point in which the dermatologist is emphatic is not to self-medicate and to be careful with the advice that goes around the internet, especially since many respond to commercial and non-medical purposes.

The important thing is to stay calm, consult a specialist, not stop washing your hair and not stop the treatments that are being carried out. Also, she is treatable. The cause of my hair loss was stress and, with a dermatological treatment I am overcoming the situation. Although recovery is slow, I seem to be on the right track.

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