Is unusual hair thinning and shedding post COVID causing you unexplainable misery? If you are losing hair excessively every time you comb, it can be very disturbing. You might be suffering from post-COVID hair loss. POST COVID HAIR LOSS AND TREATMENTS
Can COVID cause Hair Loss?
Hair loss is common after a fever or illness. Similarly, hair loss after covid is not directly related to the virus but due to the physical and emotional stress that takes a toll on the body. Hair grows and sheds regularly throughout our lifetime. When the number of hairs that shed outnumbers the new growth, it is termed hair loss. After an illness, hair loss is common because of the shock the body has sustained. Studies indicate that significant post-COVID hair loss occurs after 2-3 months of the onset of symptoms and is termed as Telogen Effluvium.
Telogen effluvium is a condition in which the hair cycle is disrupted and excessive hair fall occurs. Normally hair goes through three phases in its cycle- the anagen phase or the growth phase, the catagen phase where the active hair growth slows down, the telogen phase where the hair rests for a period of about two to three months. Following the telogen phase, the hair detaches from the follicle and falls off. In Telogen effluvium, an increased number of hairs are pushed to the telogen phase earlier than usual, after which hair fall occurs. This results in hair thinning and loss of hair volume.
Post COVID hair loss is steadily emerging as a side effect of the pandemic exacerbated by the imminent threat of the disease. Telogen effluvium, commonly observed in females, may be caused by a variety of other reasons apart from COVID. It usually gets better after three to four months with the right treatment. Read here to know more:
What are the factors responsible for it?
Telogen effluvium is triggered by conditions that cause extreme stress and shock to the body. Another possible reason for post-COVID hair loss is the fact that the body goes into conservation mode during recovery and gives importance to maintaining the crucial functions. In the process, hair growth becomes secondary and hair shedding occurs.
In a normal hair growth cycle, about 90% of the hair is in a growing phase, 5% in the resting phase, and about 5% of the hair sheds. This delicate balance is tilted under physical or mentally traumatic conditions where about 70% of the hair is in a growing phase and 30% is in the shedding phase. About 50 to 100 hairs are shed every day, which is normal. In post covid hair loss due to Telogen effluvium, more than 100 hairs fall every day.
There is a delay in the growth phase of the hair as well as an excessive number of hairs entering the rest phase after which they shed. Both these mechanisms contribute to hair loss and thinning. Other reasons for post-COVId hair loss causes include:
- Extreme physical and mental trauma
- Uncontrolled stress
- Sudden weight loss
- Changes in diet and nutrition
- Exacerbated physical conditions
How to reduce hair loss?
Fortunately, in most people with post-COVID hair loss, the hair grows back on its own after a period of about 12 to 16 weeks. However, depending on the extent of hair loss and your health condition, it may take a while. Adapting these dermatologist-advised measures will help you combat the hair loss causes.
- Decrease your stress levels and practice relaxation in the form of yoga, exercise, etc
- Follow a healthy diet comprising a balance of nutrients such as iron, biotin, folic acid, etc and supplements if necessary after medical advice
- Wash hair carefully and do not blow-dry
- Keep a hair care routine
- Use a gentle shampoo and condition your hair after every wash as dryness promotes fall
- Reserve the use of flat and curling irons for special occasions only
- Brush hair gently
- Do not traumatize your hair by twisting or pulling
- Avoid chemical treatments such as bleaching and perming
- Avoid pulling back the hair which may promote hair fall
- Quit smoking, if you haven’t yet.
If you are still facing hair loss and concern, consult your dermatologist to explore options to deal with hair fall after COVID recovery.
that is a bit about POST COVID HAIR LOSS AND TREATMENTS
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