As if the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t frustrating enough, experts are now adding hair loss to the list of long-term effects of the quarantine. Both people who have had COVID-19, as well as individuals who did not suffer from the coronavirus are now reporting increased hair loss.
Many physicians who have treated men and women who were infected with Coronavirus (COVID 19) have reported hair loss as a common side-effect. But, somewhat surprisingly, doctors are also seeing a roughly 30% increase in hair loss – due to stress and other factors – in people who have not been attacked by COVID-19.
In this article Austin, TX hair loss expert Dr. Ruthie Harper discusses how COVID-19, stress, and other factors are causing hair loss during the pandemic. And, she explains how new, state-of-the-art hair loss treatments can reverse this hair loss and regrow thicker, more beautiful hair!
Hair Loss from Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection
Any serious illness causes a lot of stress on the system, and COVID-19 is no exception. And, when the body is stressed by disease, it often channels blood flow and nutrients away from hair follicles – in order to use these resources for immunity and healing rather than for hair growth.
But, as the blood and nutrients stop reaching the hair follicles – due to COVID-19 or other illness – the follicles begin to die, and the hair shafts fall out. This type of “shedding” is a medical condition known as telogen effluvium or “TE”.
The average person can shed up to 100 hairs per day under normal circumstances. But, if hair loss exceeds this amount it is categorized as telogen effluvium, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
Fortunately, telogen effluvium hair loss is typically temporary – although it can take up to nine months for hair to begin re-growing. And, as with many aspects of the new coronavirus, the long-term effects of COVID-19 induced hair loss are not yet known.
Hair Loss form Coronavirus Stress
Additionally, many other people have been suffering from increased hair loss during the pandemic, even though they have not contracted the coronavirus. This is no surprise to hair loss experts like Dr. Ruthie Harper who already know that stress can dramatically exacerbate existing hair loss, and lead to new hair loss in healthy individuals.
So, if you’re suddenly finding more hairs on your pillow, or in your shower drain, the anxiety caused by COVID-19 may be the cause. In fact, there are multiple types of hair loss that are commonly associated with high stress levels.
Telogen Effluvium Hair Loss from COVID-19 Anxiety
Just as physical illness can divert nutrients and blood from the hair follicles, mental or psychological stress can similarly lead to telogen effluvium (TE) hair loss.
Often seen during pregnancy, TE hair loss is also common during prolonged periods of high anxiety – such as the current COVID-19 pandemic – causing hair follicles to become dormant. The good news is that once the source of the stress is alleviated, TE hair loss typically reverses and the follicles return to the active hair growth phase.
Alopecia Areata Hair Loss from COVID-19 Stress
Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss in which the body’s immune system attacks its own hair follicles. Alopecia Areata is typically identified by one or more circular patches of hair loss, which sometimes overlap.
Clinical studies have shown that Alopecia Areata can be triggered or aggravated by severe stress. And, unfortunately, Alopecia Areata is more serious than TE, and does not generally reverse itself after the stress has subsided.
However, the state-of-the-art hair loss treatments we offer at Ruthie Harper MD in Austin, TX have shown great promise in treating Alopecia Areata.
Male Pattern Baldness Aggravated by COVID-19 Stress
The most common type of hair loss is “male/female pattern hair loss” – also medically known as Androgenetic Alopecia. And, while male/female pattern baldness is typically hereditary, and not caused by stress or disease, scientific evidence has revealed that stress can accelerate Androgenetic Alopecia.
Additionally, hormones also are known to play a role in male/female pattern baldness – especially the male sex hormone called DHT. And when a man or woman experiences undue stress or anxiety, it can drive their body to produce more androgens (including DHT) – resulting in increased hair loss.
Fortunately, Austin, TX hair loss specialist Dr. Ruthie Harper offers highly effective, state-of-the-art treatments for many types of hair loss. These hair restoration procedures can treat shedding due to telogen effluvium, Alopecia Areata, and Androgenetic Alopecia – whether caused by coronavirus infection, another disease, or stress.
Treating Coronavirus & Stress Related Hair Loss
The different types and causes of hair loss are varied and complex. So, the best course of action is always starting with a consultation with a hair loss expert like Dr. Ruthie Harper in Austin, TX. She can examine and identify your individual type and cause of hair loss – so that the best hair loss treatment(s) for you can be prescribed.
Topical treatments for hair loss include Minoxidil (Rogaine), as well as Finasteride (Propecia or Proscar) which block DHT production. And, oral medications with similar effects can also be prescribed, including Spironolactone / Aldactone and Progesterone – which also block the production of the DHT that that causes hair follicles to produce thinner, weaker hair follicles.
Depending upon the underlying cause of your hair loss, certain dietary supplements may also help arrest hair shedding, as well as support new, healthy hair regrowth. Patients can undergo blood-work at our Austin, TX office to identify the specific types of dietary deficiencies they are experiencing, in order to start on the appropriate supplement regimen.
Low Level Laser (LLL) treatment is a state-of-the-art device that emits low-energy laser light to stop hair loss, as well as stimulate hair regrowth in both men and women. This treatment works by emitting red light in a specific spectrum frequency that stimulates the body’s natural production of “ATP”, activating the “anagen” or growth phase of the hair follicles.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) – extracted from the patient’s own blood – has been used in sports medicine and orthopedics for over a decade to regenerate joints. Now this same, 100% natural cellular regeneration technology is available at Ruthie Harper, MD in Austin, TX to regrow hair. Concentrated “growth factors” contained in the PRP “wake up” dormant hair follicles, and they once again start producing thicker, stronger, healthier hair shafts.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hair Loss Treatments – Austin, TX
If you have noticed that you are losing more hair, or that your hair is thinning, Dr. Ruthie Harper MD in Austin, TX can help. Whether your hair loss is sudden, due to COVID-19 infection or coronavirus stress, or has been occurring slowly over time, she can determine the cause and prescribe the best treatment.
As with any medical condition, the sooner hair loss is diagnosed, addressed and treated, the better the results.
We know there are many stresses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic – but hair loss does not have to be one of them. If you live in the greater Austin, TX area, call Dr. Harper today to schedule a hair loss consultation.