Covid-19 and telogen effluvium (hair loss)

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    In this update video, Roger Seheult, MD of MedCram discusses telogen effluvium or hair loss associated with Covid-19.  Hair loss can occur with any serious viral illness. The hair loss that occurs can range from mild but can also be dramatic and enough to cause concern. He cites an article by Amanda Mull that discusses the current experience of hair loss in America.

    Hair Cycle

    He describes the hair cycle and illustrates that depending on where the hair follicle is in its cycle will determine what it is doing. There are 3 major cycles or phases in hair growth: anagen, catagen, and telogen.

    Telogen Effluvium

    In the telogen phase, the hair follicle is in the resting phase and can stay like that for 3 months and then fall out. It is normal to lose 50-100 hair follicles on a daily basis. However, when there is a stressor (such as Covid-19), the body will advance the hair follicles that are at different phases to the telogen (resting) phase. The hair follicle stays in this phase for approximately 3 months and then suddenly it will fall out. When numerous hair follicles do this (can be up to 70% of all follicles) simultaneously, it can result in large amounts of hair loss (telogen effluvium). The hair may even come out in clumps.  People often turn to trying “new vitamins and oils” to help hair growth;  however, regardless of the use of these, if the hair loss is from telogen effluvium it will come back. The hair is growing back but it only grows about 1 cm per month so it will take a few months to see the growth. Dr. Seheult discusses a study that monitored the amount of hair loss that occurred in patients after Covid-19. It noted that 22% of people had issues with hair loss so this is not an isolated event. 



    What is Hair Loss? (Maral) |

    Hair Follicle (Wikipedia) |…

    Telogen Effluviumn (Wikipedia) |…

    6-month consequences of COVID-19 in patients discharged from hospital: a cohort study (Lancet) |…


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