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COVID-19 and its stressors can contribute to hair loss

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – An estimated 1-in-5 Americans over the age of 30 suffer from hair loss and that number may be growing during this pandemic.

”I’ve definitely seen an increase in the number of people complaining of shedding,” said hair loss specialist Dr. Alan Bauman.

Shock-induced hair loss can occur simply from being stressed about the presence of the coronavirus, or actually becoming infected with COVID-19.

”What we do know is that if you have a fever, stress to the system as the body is fighting infection your hair follicles can suffer and turn into a shedding phase,” Bauman said. Similar shedding can occur during other stressors like the loss of a job, divorce, death in the family or even hormonal changes through life.

”These are all things that are either psychological or physiological stressors that are self-limiting,” Bauman said.

In other words, the hair should return once the stress has passed but a person with a genetic predisposition for male or female pattern hair loss may need treatment.

Over the counter supplements and topical medications, oral prescription medications, hair laser therapy, and even scalp injections of platelet rich plasma can help support hair follicles that are still active but in a dormant phase.

”If the follicles are dead and gone then you’re going to need some form of transplantation,” Bauman said.

Hair loss due to the physical or emotional stress of COVID-19, assuming the follicle is still functioning, should resolve on its own.

“The shedding will stop and in about 8 weeks, you’ll see an improvement,” Bauman said.


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