Coronavirus long-term impact: Survey reports shocking hair loss in COVID-19 patients – Times of India

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Coronavirus long-term impact: Survey reports shocking hair loss in COVID-19 patients – Times of India


TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Last updated on – Aug 13, 2020, 19:00 IST

01/5Another long-term COVID impact: Coronavirus may also lead to drastic hair loss

It has been more than 8 months since the novel coronavirus outbreak emerged in the wet market of Wuhan, China. Since then, the highly contagious disease has spread to 213 countries across the globe, infecting more than 20 million people. While initially a case of sniffles, soaring temperature and a bad throat were considered the hallmarks of the novel coronavirus, it has been since established that the disease also manifests itself in completely incomprehensible ways.

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02/5​The many symptoms of novel coronavirus

Scientist and medical experts are learning more about the virus with every passing day in a bid to understand the mind-blogging ways the pathogen attacks the entire body, from head to toe. Some of the absolutely bizarre symptoms of COVID-19 include upset stomach, pain in legs, rash, reduced sensation of smell or taste (in the absence of a blocked nose) and even eye problems.

It has been noted that the patients who recover after battling severe coronavirus disease, may also end-up with permanent lung damage and significant health impact on kidney, brain and heart.

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03/5​Loss of hair: Another long-term impact of COVID-19?

Adding to the list of mind-scratching facts about COVID-19, researchers are observing that COVID-19 can also trigger temporary hair loss. Yes, according to a survey conducted by Dr Natalie Lambert from Indiana University School of Medicine and Survivor Corp Facebook group survey, it was found that hair loss was amongst the top 25 symptoms experienced by those diagnosed with the highly infectious disease.

The survey was conducted on more than 1,500 survivors of the disease, who were experiencing the long-term impact of COVID-19. These recovered patients are known as long-haulers. The survey also revealed that long-haulers experienced hair loss more than nausea and congested nose–two symptoms largely identified by medial agencies like CDC.

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04/5​How does COVID-19 cause hair loss?

One of the major reasons which can lead to hair shedding in COVID-19 patients could be the immense stress of fighting the disease. Technically known as ‘Telogen effluvium’, this kind of temporary hair shedding happens when your body experiences an immense amount of stress, in the form of trauma, shock or sickness.

However, given the novel nature of the contagian, it is difficult to pinpoint one standalone reason for the hair loss. It can also be attributed to poor nutritional intake, owing to the messed up digestive system and loss of appetite in the patients. The virus also puts an immense amount of mental and physical stress on the body, which can again lead to hair loss.

It should be noted that in addition to coronavirus symptoms like high fever (which may trigger post febrile alopecia), low levels of vitamin D3 and ferritin may also lead to more hair loss in COVID-19 patients.

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05/5​What can you do to battle hair loss caused by COVID-19

Experts are of the opinion that the hair loss is majorly ‘transient’ and the focus should be on dialling down the stress levels, sleeping well and taking care of the nutritional requirements of your body. Ultimately, your immune system and your body’s response to the virus also determines whether you experience hair shedding post contracting COVID-19 or not.

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