Stress Triggered by COVID-19 Causing Hair Loss Months Later

Our hair can say a lot about how healthy we are. Already the Covid-19 pandemic has been going on for almost a year. Many people are now reporting hair loss, months after having contracted the disease which is a cause of concern for dermatologists.

Hair Loss

Hair Loss

The first hair loss occurs three months after

Stress-related hair loss usually occurs just over three months after a stressful event. It is difficult to understand exactly why hair loss occurs so late. One hypothesis is that the body might force the hair into a sleeping phase prematurely during its growth cycle. The hair will then become thinner and thinner until it falls out of the root.

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“I have recently had patients with stress-related hair loss,” says Ohara Aivaz, a dermatologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.  They told me that they were worried that they might die earlier this year or even that they had been infected with Covid-19. However, the effects did not become apparent until three months later. It confuses the patient because the stress has disappeared, and yet the physical manifestation is just happening now.

As the pandemic progresses and the anxiety it is causing is becoming more apparent, talk of hair loss is spreading. In the United States, Natalie Lambert, Professor of Medicine at the University of Indiana, has launched a major study to understand what is causing this hair loss.

Thanks to the answers collected in the Survivor Corps Facebook group dedicated to the “survivors” of Covid-19, she was able to identify 98 long-term symptoms in patients that suffered from the coronavirus. Of the 1,500 responses the researcher received, over 400 reported hair loss. In the testimonies published in the group, some of them even reported losing hair by the fistful.

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What should you do if you are losing your hair?

If you ever start to lose your hair, dermatologist Ohara Aivaz advises you to see a doctor first, to test for any thyroid gland anomalies. If the hair loss is really related to stress, it is possible to take supplements to strengthen your hair, but it will take some time to reverse the situation. “If you remove the trigger and the stress level decreases, in most cases, the hair loss will stop by itself and the patient will recover because his follicles are still active and healthy.”

Finally, it should be noted that hair loss, especially in older people, can also be accompanied by dandruff, acne, and even eczema. In this case, it is advisable to take a warm shower and use a fragrance-free soap in the most affected areas, but do not overdo it. “If the skin is really dry, even a mild soap can remove the natural fats. Do not wash anything that is not dirty. Lather your hands with soap and avoid using washcloths, which can also dry up the skin,” Ohara Aivaz concludes.

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