Infectious Disease

COVID-19 continues to affect hair loss

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Healio Psoriatic Disease

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The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.

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Many patients experienced significant hair loss following COVID-19 infection, according to a case series published in the Journal of Drugs and Dermatology.

“The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and primarily affects the epithelium of the airways,” Samantha KalnerBS, other Irene Virgilis, MD, of Dermatology and Skin Surgery in New York City, wrote.

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Many patients experienced significant hair loss following COVID-19 infection.

“Hair loss has emerged as a frequently noted side effect of infection with COVID-19 and has been observed in many patients who have recovered from a documented COVID-19 illness,” the authors continued.

Kalner and Vergilis conducted a retrospective study evaluating the prevalence of hair loss in patients who had recovered from COVID-19.

Of 62 patients with hair loss, histological evaluations of hair samples from 48 had telogen effluvium, 12 showed evidence of androgenetic alopecia and two showed alopecia areata.

“Telogen effluvium is the most commonly seen cutaneous complication following the recovery from COVID-19,” the authors wrote. “This is perhaps due to the physical and emotional stress that accompanies COVID-19. Furthermore, since fever is a common symptom of COVID-19, a few months after having a high fever or recovering from an illness, many people observe noticeable hair loss.”

A strong relationship between hair loss and COVID-19 was found in this study, according to the researchers, raising questions regarding the virus’s effect on autoimmune disorders such as alopecia areata.

“Regardless of its nature, hair loss seems to be a common finding following recovery from COVID-19 infection and a larger study may be needed to evaluate what can be done to reduce the number of cases of hair loss,” the authors added.

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