New Delhi: There has been a massive influx of patients with post COVID hair loss, said doctors here on Thursday. The sudden onset of hair loss — Telogen effluvium — is caused majorly due to stress, nutritional deficiency and inflammatory reactions caused by the infectious disease, the health experts explained. Normally a person can lose up to 100 hair per day, but due to Telogen Effluvium it can increase up to 300-400 hair per day.
“We have seen a two-fold rise in the number of patients complaining of problems related to hair loss. Post COVID-19 inflammation has been a major contributor here. The deficiencies caused by 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 large volumes of hair loss post COVID-19,” said Shahin Nooreyezdan, Senior Consultant, Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi.
However, the condition, which sets in 1-1.5 months after COVID is temporary and gets better with treatment in 2-3 months.
“Reason is the interruption of hair follicle growth due to an acute infection like COVID that pushes the hair into the shedding or dead phase (telogen phase). And the dead hair shed off after a few weeks automatically,” said Sachin Dhawan, Senior Consultant, Department of Dermatology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute.
“For mild cases, recovery is automatic. In severe cases, a good hair supplement with biotin and amino acids, iron and other minerals is given, along with a peptide containing serum,” Dhawan added.
During the post-COVID-19 recovery, people must consume a nutritious diet along with natural edible sources of vitamins and iron. Iron deficiency can further accelerate hair loss, and consumption of a protein rich and balanced diet can itself be a solution for reducing temporarily witnessed hair fall.
Besides eating healthy and taking nutritional supplements, one should also avoid heat and chemicals for hairstyling and refrain from following a sedentary lifestyle, the doctors recommended.
“It is only after waiting for 5-6 weeks after consuming a nutritious diet that people should consult a doctor if they still encounter excessive hair loss. Moreover, some common hair care solutions that can be administered to avoid an excessive hair loss are – use of mild, paraben and sulphate free shampoos, keeping a close check on the itchy and flaky scalp, refrain from oiling and massaging the scalp, using a wide tooth comb and seeking immediate medical intervention in case of development of bald patches and getting huge volumes of hair fall,” said Kuldeep Singh, Senior Consultant Cosmetology and Plastic Surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi.