Has hair loss become more common during Covid-19?
We wish a pleasant read in this article for those who are concerned about hair loss related to Covid-19. Our patients who want to learn more about hair loss can apply to our clinic for free hair analysis. Covid-19 dominated the headlines for almost 2 years, and one of the ailments shared by recovered patients is hair loss. To date, there is no clinical evidence that the virus directly causes hair loss, but the incidence of hair loss experienced by Covid-19 patients may be due to the physical and emotional stress they are experiencing, and therefore to what is known as telogen effluvium.
What is telogen effluvium?
Telogen effluvium is a condition of hair loss that can occur months after a stressful event in which a person experiences emotional and physical distress. It can occur in the event of childbirth, major surgery, involvement in an accident, and serious illness (especially those associated with high fever).
Telogen effluvium is different from other forms of hair loss, as it occurs in the form of general shedding rather than specific bald areas. The scalp and remaining hair may still look completely healthy. Our hair is anagen (growth phase), catagen (transition phase); It elongates in cycles with different phases known as telogen (resting phase) and exogenous (shedding phase). Therefore, shedding is a completely normal part of our hair’s life cycle. In telogen effluvium, the hair follicles make a rapid transition to the telogen phase, where they stay for two to three months before shedding. This is why telogen effluvium occurs several months after a stressful event.
I have not contracted Covid-19 during the pandemic, but I suffered hair loss
There are people who have not been diagnosed with Covid-19 or have no symptoms but still notice that their hair is falling out. This may be the result of high levels of emotional stress caused by the quarantine itself. This also likely indicates telogen effluvium and presents as described above.
What can I do if I think I may have telogen effluvium?
Telogen effluvium is usually temporary. Hair usually returns to normal after six to nine months without the need for additional treatment. This is why it’s important to be patient as you may not need to seek medical attention in the first place. It is rare for telogen effluvium to be associated with scalp irritation, redness, or burning. If you have these or other associated symptoms, you may need to schedule an appointment with your physician to avoid other possible hair loss or medical conditions.
In rare cases, telogen effluvium may not grow back after six to nine months. At this stage, it may be helpful to seek advice from your family doctor, who will be in the best position to fully understand your individual needs and conduct any necessary investigations.
If you need more advice, you can seek advice from an expert, such as a hair dermatologist. Specifically, they can explore your symptoms of hair loss and suggest an action plan to repair or prevent further hair loss. If you have excessive hair loss, you can contact us for Turkey’s best hair transplant center.
If you think your hair loss is caused by emotional stress during the pandemic, you may not see improvement until these emotional triggers are removed. The Mental Health Foundation has some helpful resources for those experiencing stress as a result of the pandemic. Your GP can also provide advice and guidance to local services that can help.
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- Angela Betsaida. Recovered COVID-19 patients report hair loss months after infection.News Medical Life Sciences online article. August 6, 2020. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200806/Recovered-COVID-19-patients-report-hair-loss-months-after-infection.aspx
- Hair Loss After Illness, including Covid-19. Alopecia.org online article. August 10, 2020. https://www.alopecia.org.uk/news/hair-loss-after-illness-including-covid-19
- Can Covid-19 cause hair loss? American Academy of Dermatology online article. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/causes/covid-19