100% rise in hair loss complaints among COVID patients

Delhi's Indraprastha Apollo Hospital has seen a 100% rise in complaints of hair loss among coronavirus patients, doctors said.

Normally, according to a spokesperson, the private hospital in South Delhi would record four to five complaints of hair loss a week.

Cropped image of man suffering from hair loss against gray background
Image for representational purposes only. Getty Images.

However, hair loss cases 'started increasing from mid-May and a consolidated report says we have been seeing double the number of cases since then', the spokesperson said.

Usually, COVID-19 patients experience hair loss a month after recovering from the disease. In some cases, hair loss is observed during the infection period, too, doctors said.

Temporary or permanent?

Deficiencies due to change in dietary habits, fever during the infection, stress, anxiety, sudden hormonal changes and persistent post-Covid inflammatory reactions are some of the reasons for the temporary hair loss, they said.

Dr Shahin Nooreyezdan, senior consultant, cosmetic and plastic surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, said, 'We have seen a two-fold rise in the number of patients complaining of problems related to hair loss.

'Post-Covid inflammation has been a major contributor. Deficiencies due to a compromised nutritional intake, sudden changes in weight, hormonal disturbances and reduced vitamin D and B12 levels are some of the major reasons for the loss of large volumes of hair loss post-infection,' he said.

Dr Kuldeep Singh, senior consultant, cosmetology and plastic surgery, said, 'Hair loss post-Covid is temporary in nature and is due to a condition called Telogen Effluvium. It is a result of the shock the body sustains after suffering from fever and other symptoms during COVID-19.'

'Normally a person can lose up to 100 hair per day, but it can increase to 300-400 hair per day due to Telogen Effluvium,' he said.

Post COVID recovery

The doctors suggested that after recovering from COVID-19, one should have a nutritious diet along with natural edible sources of vitamins and iron. Iron deficiency can accentuate hair loss, while a protein-rich, balanced diet reduces hair fall.

People should approach a doctor only if excessive hair loss persists even after consuming a nutritious diet for five to six weeks.

Some common hair care solutions that can be administered to prevent excessive hair loss are:

Use of mild, paraben and sulphate-free shampoos

Keeping a close check on the itchy and flaky scalp

Refraining from oiling and massaging the scalp

Using a wide-tooth comb

Seek immediate medical intervention in case of development of bald patches and huge volume of hair fall.

Avoid stress, meditate, eat healthy, take natural nutritional supplements, avoid heat and chemicals for hairstyling and refrain from following a sedentary lifestyle, doctors said.

Inputs from PTI