SARS-CoV-2 — A virus that has struck all continents and caused a global pandemic. Initially, the new virus was thought to affect only the respiratory system. But coronavirus survivors and doctors began to notice that the virus affects the body systemically. SARS-CoV-2 affects the cardiovascular system, impairs vision and hearing, and affects the joints.
Lately, hair loss after covid 19 has become a frequent complaint of patients. Our clinic has received many female patients with this very problem. Patients don’t notice the effects of the infection immediately, but it takes a few months after they recover, on average three months–4 months. Hair loss after the coronavirus is compared to hair deterioration after childbirth, since in both cases there is a lack of reserves and hair loss occurs after about the same time.
Hair loss is a multifactorial condition, meaning that it is a phenomenon that results from several factors. The treatment of such a pathological process is dealt with exclusively by a trichologist, who studies the life cycle and pathological conditions of hair. Because alopecia is considered to be a complex condition that requires an individualized, immediate approach and proper treatment.
Statistically, nearly 79% of people experience hair loss after experiencing coronavirus. Indicators also indicate that after covid hair loss in women to a greater extent than in men. Accordingly, the trichologists with the described complaint are more often addressed by girls. Therefore, in this article, let’s consider in more detail why hair falls out after covid, what the mechanism of this complication is and how to solve such a problem.
Causes of hair loss
Hair loss that occurs after covid-19 is called telogenic alopecia (TA). TA patients report sudden onset of alopecia and more hair loss in large bunches. During combing and after showering, it is most noticeable. Hair loss after covid can provoke the following factors:
- Insufficient resources of the body, so most of the immune system forces are aimed at fighting the virus, and the other systems are not getting enough useful elements.
- An infectious disease thickens the blood. This leads to the fact that the microcirculation deteriorates and the blood supply to the epidermis, in which the hair follicles are located, is impaired. As a result, the hair follicles do not receive enough nutrition and nutrients, and the condition of the hair deteriorates.
- The content of B vitamins in the body affects hair growth and health, and the coronavirus contributes to the reduction of the group of these vitamins.
- Stress, which not only this infection, but also all other diseases, exacerbates the condition of the hair and the body as a whole.
- The development and effect of intoxication, which is caused by a viral pathogen in the body, and the effect of high body temperature, which weakens the hair root.
- Decreased concentration of hemoglobin, which is the oxygen carrier throughout the body.
- Hormonal imbalance, which could have been triggered by stress or an infectious agent.
- Impaired detoxification function of the liver, which is caused by taking antibiotics and hormone-based medications.
The presence of one or more of the factors on the list listed above at the same time can explain why the hair on the head is falling out after covid. But the leading causes of TA are infectious intoxication, stress, and lack of resources to maintain healthy hair. The remaining factors further aggravate the situation.
The mechanism of hair loss
The mechanism of telegenic alopecia after coronavirus is related specifically to the above factors. Exposure to these trigger factors inhibits the growth of large amounts of hair due to the fact that it rearranges the phases of hair development. The hair root and hair shaft abruptly go from a growth phase to a resting phase. This condition is called «telogen». Hair stays like this for two days–3 months.
After a specified period of time, the hair begins to fall out. This sequence of pathological processes explains why hair loss occurs after covid. While more accurate and reliable answer to this question and scientists, and doctors can not give, because the manifestation of alopecia covidale to a greater extent depends on individual genetic characteristics.
But you should not panic in advance if you notice that you are losing your hair. Because the daily loss of hair — This is a normal physiological state. The average person normally loses 50–100 hairs a day. About the same amount of new hair appears every day. But sometimes compensation for lost hair does not occur, and this can also lead to depletion of hair shafts and the appearance of focal small hair clumps. It is worth noting that alopecia can affect not only the scalp, but also the cover of other parts of the body.
Methods of treatment
Noticing that after the covid hair loss, many girls panic and stress further exacerbate the problem. Therefore, in the following sections we will discuss how to leave such an unpleasant pathological process, with what it can be treated independently, what trichologists treat and when to contact a narrow specialist. Before we start treatment, it is important to find out the true cause of hair loss. To do this, you need to take such laboratory tests as:
- A CBC (complete blood count);
- a detailed biochemical blood test;
- Analysis of the quantitative content of trace elements and vitamin D, B in the body;
- Thyroid hormone tests: thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3) and calcitonin.
In addition to the above tests, a thorough physical examination of the scalp and instrumental examinations will be required: microscopy of the patient’s hair, trichoscopy (visual computer method) and biopsy of the scalp.
Based on the results of tests and examinations, the doctor will be able to make a more effective treatment, which will be aimed not only at solving the aesthetic issue, but also to eliminate the internal imbalance that provokes alopecia.
The most effective treatment is a combination therapy that uses both topical and oral medications. As a topical treatment, nourishing and strengthening masks, lotions, shampoos, etc. are usually prescribed. д. The purpose of these drugs is to strengthen the hair shaft, increase the density of the hair shaft and stimulate the growth of hair follicles. Some such topical remedies are immunomodulators that penetrate the thickness of the skin and improve microcirculation.
The choice of oral medications depends directly on the results of laboratory tests. That is, if a certain group of vitamins is not enough in the body, it is their analogues that the patient takes. Correspondingly also with micronutrients, hormones and other substances. Most often take a combined mineral and vitamin complexes. In addition to the above two options, doctors recommend taking courses of mesotherapy (injectable nutrient and vitamin cocktails), cryotherapy (cold cosmetic procedures) and darsonval (pulsed massager). These are the most effective methods to combat alopecia, as advised by trichologists.
Also one of the effective physical therapy interventions, which is pathogenetically effective and has an immunosuppressive effect, is photochemotherapy (PTX) or as it is also called PUVA therapy. PTX is performed using ultraviolet light, A, which has a length of 320–400 nm, and the administration of photosensitizers, which belong to the group of psoralen. This therapy is indicated in more severe and neglected cases.
In the initial stages, many girls think about how to treat hair at home alopecia. If you want to help your hair recover from a severe viral illness, then we recommend that you consider lifestyle modifications.
First, you should reconsider your diet and put together a balanced, healthy menu. To prepare a rational menu, you first need to determine your daily caloric intake. According to the calorie availability, make a menu with foods that are rich in iron, vitamins B and D, zinc, proteins and essential fatty acids. Do not forget to cut out salty, fatty, fried food, fast food, and carbonated drinks.
Secondly, begin to strengthen your immune system and try to limit stress and negative emotions. Exercise, yoga, walking outdoors, and getting enough sleep will help. It is important to go to bed before 11 or maximum 12 at night and wake up around 7–9 hours. It is during these hours produce special hormones, which are aimed at restoring the strength of the immune system.
Rule number three — Proper hair care and gentle styling are the most important things you can do for your hair. Use a soft hairbrush to comb your hair. Do not pull the strands and comb them slowly. Wash your hair only gentle sulfate-free shampoos, and after washing apply a nourishing mask. Do not use any damaging hair treatment such as perming, bleaching, or frequent coloring. д. The above procedures will only worsen the condition of the hair, and contribute to hair loss.
The use of folk remedies and self-treatment should still be limited. Because only a knowledgeable specialist can choose the correct treatment plan, and folk problems do not affect the elimination of the cause of alopecia.
When should you make an appointment to see a trichologist??
If the above recommendations at home have not helped you, then we immediately advise you to contact a narrow hair specialist — Trichologist. The doctor will conduct appropriate examinations and examinations, taking into account the results of tests and the patient’s anamnesis will make the right treatment algorithm. Trichologist will be able to answer all your questions, will show and tell you how to treat your hair after covid.
The link between the new virus and alopecia was proven by scientists back in the summer of 2020. The problem of hair loss after having had coronavirus will be an issue until the pandemic is eradicated.
The sooner a patient suffering from covid alopecia sees a specialist and begins treatment, the sooner hair health can be restored. Comprehensive treatment and compliance with recommendations at home: nutrition, immunity boosting, and gentle care — is the ideal approach to deal with such a serious problem. Do not be upset if you are faced with covid alopecia. The main thing to contact a specialist in a timely manner and comply with the correct treatment that will be assigned trichologist.