Pandemic Hair Loss – a Doctor’s Advice

Updated: Apr. 21, 2021 at 11:14 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - We’ve heard a lot about brain fog, fatigue, even heart and lung issues as long term side affects after COVID-19, but now, Dermatologists are hearing one more common complaint- hair loss and not just among those who had a severe case of the virus.

The scientific name for unexplained hair loss is Telogen Effluvium. Basically, that means stress induced hair loss which is not uncommon after childbirth or surgery.

Dr. Michelle Tarbox is a dermatologist and Texas Tech Physician. She says that today, after a year long pandemic, more and more people are experiencing relatively significant rates of this telogen effluvium following infection with COVID-19. She says it’s showing up in young men and women too.

As a result, she explains that scientists are starting to define this as one of the chronic side effects that could follow a covid infection.

She says this about actress Alyssa Milano. “She actually went on television and showed how much hair she was shedding after each brushing on a live interview. And I was actually very grateful for her doing that because I think that her showing that this is something that can happen.”

However, Dr. Tarbox says don’t stress over this. “The reassuring thing for patients is that they’re not going to go completely bald, although they feel like they are.” She says hair loss may begin one to 6 months after a covid infection... even a mild case of the virus… and continue for as long as a year, but not forever. She adds, “Usually patients start to see some improvement in three to six months, especially if they start to address any underlying factors. that might be worsening that hair loss.”

Dr. Tarbox explains what we can do to treat those underlying factors and even prevent further hair loss in the interview on this page.

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