Hair loss: Can COVID-19 cause hair loss?

Hair loss: Can COVID-19 cause hair loss?

Many Brits have complained of hair loss during the pandemic, with some articles suggesting that hair loss during lockdown could be caused by stress, diet change, and hormonal fluctuations rather than coronavirus itself. However, a new study has revealed that COVID-19 could actually cause hair loss in the long run.

A recent study carried out by a doctor at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the COVID-19 survivor group Survivor Corps has identified hair loss as a long-term symptom of COVID-19.

The doctor surveyed more than 1,500 patients via a Facebook poll and found 98 possible symptoms – one of these was hair loss.

Dr Natalie Lambert, an associate research professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine said: “The new symptoms our study identified include severe nerve pain, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, blurry vision and even hair loss.”

Nearly a third of participants reported hair loss as a symptom of the virus.

READ MORE- Coronavirus update: Study reveals sign of COVID-19 in a person’s hair

One participant said she had lost 75 percent of her hair after catching coronavirus in early April.

She commented: “My face already looks more aged since contracting the virus but still I’m resilient.

“I’m not sure if may hair will ever return back the same.”

This is just the result of one study in America, and many more need to be done to prove the link between coronavirus and hair loss.

Another example of someone who experienced hair loss as a result of COVID-19 is American actress Alyssa Milano.

The star of US drama Charmed took to Twitter to show followers her shedding hair.

She brushed her hair and ended the video by removing the hairs from her brush.

She ended the video by saying: “One brush, this is my hair loss from COVID-19. Wear a damn mask!”

Milano had taken three coronavirus antibody tests and received negative results, but finally received a positive result earlier this month.

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Can COVID-19 cause hair loss?

At present, hair loss is not considered a symptom of coronavirus by the World Health Organisation or the NHS.

However, the Indiana University study and complaints of survivors identifies hair loss as a potential long-term symptom.

Many COVID-19 survivors have lost some hair after recovering, but the is often down to the psychological effects of contracting the disease.

Some experts have said that suffering from coronavirus could trigger the stress hormone cortisol to be released.

Cortisol can signal the hair follicles to shift from the growth phase into a transition phase causing your hair to fall out.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Very little was known about coronavirus to begin with, and that’s why symptoms have been added to the official World Health Organisation (WHO) list as the virus has progressed.

COVID-19 impacts people in different ways, meaning people will get different symptoms.

According to WHO, the most common symptoms are a fever, a dry cough and tiredness.

However less common symptoms include:
• aches and pains.
• sore throat.
• diarrhoea.
• conjunctivitis.
• headache.
• loss of taste or smell.
• a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes

Serious symptoms which require medical attention are:

• difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
• chest pain or pressure.
• loss of speech or movement.

Hair loss isn’t considered an official symptom just yet, but it is certainly being experienced survivors across the globe.

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