Does COVID19 affect hair health?
Various healthcare services have reported patients who have developed extensive loss of hair following recovery from COVID-19 disease. Many individuals have reported to clinics after several months following recovery from this infectious disease. In this situation, a large number of people have noticed that their hair is falling out in huge clumps. In most cases, there is a decline in general reports of hair loss. But in the case of dermatology units, that number has seen a dramatic increase.
What is the association of COVID19 with loss of hair?
What most individuals think of hair loss is in real terms the shedding of hair. The ideal medical terminology used for this variety of shedding of hairs has been termed as telogen effluvium. This will happen whenever more than a normal amount of hairs make an entry in this shedding or telogen phase of the life-cycle of growth of hair at the same time. An episode of fever and associated illness eventually force greater numbers of hairs in this phase to shed off.
Hairs’ growth or life cycle has different phases or stages. Telogen Effluvium occurs whenever any stressor agent results in a stoppage of growth of excess amounts of hair that can then; enter into the resting or telogen phase.
In this telogenic phase, the hair rests for about two to three months before shedding from one’s scalp to allow new growth of hair. This explains the long period that ensues in telogen effluvium following any stressful event that triggers this phenomenon. For example, an illness or an extremely highly stressful time.
Most of the time, people observe visible levels of shedding of hair about 2 to 3 months following fever and illness. A large handful of hairs might be coming out whenever one showers or brushes their hair. This process of shedding hair may last for a period between 6 to 9 months before stopping. With improved hair health and a reduced chance of new hair loss, most people notice the difference.
It has not been proven that SARS-CoV-2 causes hair loss, so it is highly unlikely that this virus can cause hair loss. There have been many theories about why some people lose their hair, but none have been proven to be true. This has been termed “Telogen effluvium”.
Whenever any condition resembling a shock is given to one’s body’s systems, the entire human body will go into lock-down of functions. Then, the body’s systems will only focus on vital functions. The growth of hair is not an essential function as compared to other systems; hence, this can explain the excessive shedding of hair following a stressful event after COVID-19 infection. Doctors may run a variety of blood tests to rule out an ailment or nutritional deficiency as the source. In addition, the attending healthcare experts analyze recent history for ruling out any stressful event in the patient’s recent past.
How can hair loss due to COVID-19 be cured?
Grows of hair takes time to come back. There is always a period of adjustment, and in most cases, the hair will eventually hit its pre-loss length and fullness.
Telogen effluvium is a temporary hair loss that resolves itself without anything else to worry about as it happens. Getting a quick hair growth back may take up to six months to one year during the treatment-associated timeline.
Most of the time, people diagnosed with ‘telogen effluvium’ might have the temptation of trying various supplements as well as products that can aid in the regrowth of hair. These hair growth-promoting products are freely available on shelves of drug stores or wellness sections of malls. Herbal supplements can be ineffective and might even cause more harm than good.
Hence, patients must attempt to understand the concept underlying the pathology of telogen effluvium. Patients must also be able to understand the fact that hair growth will return to normal. Healthcare providers should provide reassurance that hair will grow back and patients will not become bald.
How can our healthcare services help in tackling the loss of hair due to COVID19?
Centric Healthcare can help individuals having extensive hair fall after COVID-19 infection by providing direct care and referred consultations from experienced dermatologists who specialize in Trichology or the study of hair. Doctors determine if hair loss is natural or not. Your doctor will take a detailed medical history, including questions about how healthy your hair is, drugs you might be taking, and any other issues you are dealing with.