It’s not in your head: You may be losing your hair after having COVID

COVID-19 can cause you to see thinning and losing clumps of hair.
Updated: Feb. 24, 2021 at 8:58 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Here is another thing you can probably blame on the pandemic if you have had COVID: hair loss.

People are noticing it months after getting the virus. You can’t underestimate what stress does to our bodies. The CDC says that hair loss can be a long-term effect of COVID. And a lot of people are experiencing it.

Hair loss that’s seen following COVID-19 is consistent with a condition called telogen effluvium.

“Any kind of stressor on the body puts the hair follicle in a shedding cycle called telogen,” Dr. Rana Mays of Mays Dermatology said.

Mays says she’s seen patients who have experienced hair loss after COVID, one of the consequences that show up within two to four months.

“More thinning, significant shedding in the shower,” Mays said. “They will wash their hair and see tons of clumps come out. That is very common for a stress-induced hair loss, which is in the same category as COVID being the stressor.”

Mays says the good news is that this hair loss can be temporary but, it can take months to correct. She adds that there are options to get it back.

“There are some FDA-approved topical medications that stimulate the hair follicle,” Mays said. “Then there are oral supplements. The highest efficacy we have for any hair restoration of any type, specifically with telogen, is PRP treatment.”

PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. The treatment involves your own plasma.

“We call PRP liquid gold it’s been used in medicine for over 20 years,” Mays said. “From the patient’s own blood, we extract the specialized cells we call platelet-rich plasma that we inject back into the scalp. On average most patients, especially those who are suffering from shedding of the hair, see a pretty quick improvement in about a month or so of the first injection and continue to see improvement for up to 1 to 2 years.”

If you are experiencing hair loss after COVID you should consider talking to a dermatologist. For more information on hair restoration options click here.

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