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Monday, 11 January 2021 09:30

Covid hair loss Featured

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Covid hair loss Covid hair loss

Unexpected and uncharacteristic hair loss and shedding can happen after any stressful event.                                                                                                            The Covid pandemic appears to have led to an increase in people experiencing thinning hair.

While the exact mechanisms of why severe physical or psychological trauma can trigger hair loss is not entirely understood - in the majority of these cases, the patient is diagnosed with ‘telogen effluvium’, a temporary condition in which dramatically increased numbers of hair are shed each day, far beyond the typical 100 or so that is considered ‘normal’.

Telogen effluvium may often appear 3-6 months after the ‘triggering’ stressful event has happened, and in most cases (if the cause is removed) the problem will resolve itself (in rare cases, unremitting stress can lead to chronic and prolonged shedding).

Currently, no published research exists to suggest that Covid-19 attacks hair follicles; indicating that any related  hair loss is a result of the body reacting to the physiological and emotional stress caused by the disease, rather than a symptom of the disease itself (indeed, I have yet to see a  hair loss patient that has actually been diagnosed with coronavirus).

The current cause for the recent increase in hair loss conditions is therefore most likely to be connected to the stress and worry connected to the pandemic, such as financial worries, the disruption to a routine, coping with home schooling and work, holiday cancellations or the worry over an ‘at risk’ family member, 

Anyone with new or worsening hair loss should seek a professional diagnosis from a certified trichologist.

It is imperative to rule out other possible causes, such as thyroid problems, medications, genetic disposition, illness, alopecia areata, scalp disorders, dietary failings and anaemia.

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