(AscendHealthy.com) – The 2019 coronavirus has been circulating for months now, and yet the bizarre complications just keep coming. COVID-19 has been connected to neurological involvement, blood clots, and even sores on the feet and toes. Now, evidence suggests it could cause some patients to lose shocking amounts of their hair. We’ve investigated the link.
See the Details on the Link Between COVID-19 and Hair Loss.
Dermatologists are facing a recent trend. According to an article just published in Dermatologic Therapy, there’s been a recent increase in reported hair loss, possibly by as much as 12.5%, and COVID-19 could be to blame. The connection may seem like a weird one, but similar reactions can occur with other severe viral infections like malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, and syphilis. These infections can trigger several types of conditions that cause hair loss, but the most common is a stress response called telogen effluvium.
Stress-Triggered Hair Loss
Telogen effluvium is generally delayed, hitting sufferers a few months after infection. It disrupts the natural growth/shedding cycle, resulting in substantial hair loss. People suffering from this condition often lose up to 50% of their hair’s fullness, and it may seem to come out by the handful.
In addition to serious infections, severe stressors like undergoing major surgery or losing a loved one, can trigger this condition. COVID-19 appears to be another trigger, and it may be causing other forms of hair loss as well. Some sufferers are reportedly experiencing alopecia areata and seborrheic dermatitis, and both autoimmune responses have different sets of underlying triggers.
The Journal of Dermatological Treatment just released a case study of a woman who experienced multiple dermatological complications while being hospitalized for COVID-19. The woman developed rashes on her arms and legs and lost about half of her hair. Her doctors diagnosed her with anagen effluvium, another stress-related condition that affects the hair growth/shedding cycle.
These conditions can be downright terrifying to experience, but there is a silver lining to this dark cloud.
The Good News
Most of these conditions are temporary, so sufferers can rest assured that, although it may feel like it, they aren’t likely going bald for good. Telogen effluvium and anagen effluvium both usually begin to resolve on their own after 3 to 6 months. Seborrheic dermatitis and Alopecia areata may require medical interventions, but treatment options are available.
Hair loss can be terrifying, especially when it seems to crop up out of nowhere. A surprising number of COVID-19 patients may find themselves suffering with it for a while, but it shouldn’t be a long-term issue for most. Anyone with concerns over COVID-19-related hair loss should see a dermatologist for diagnosis and direction.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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