One in FOUR coronavirus survivors report ‘losing their hair in clumps’, docs warn

CORONAVIRUS survivors are losing their hair “in clumps” due to temporary stress caused by Covid-19.

A survey revealed that one in four people who have overcome the virus have since experienced hair loss.

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Coronavirus survivors have reported that they are experiencing hair loss


Coronavirus survivors have reported that they are experiencing hair loss

One survivor, who battled the virus in March said she feared she would go bald and be forced to wear a wig after more than half of her hair fell out.

Grace Dudley from Essex said she woke up to clumps of hair on her pillow, while others online also commented that they too had experienced extreme hair loss.

An online survey was conducted of 1,500 people who have survived Covid.

The results from the Survivor Corp Facebook group found that 27 per cent of people had experienced some form of hair loss.

This could be hair loss of the scalp, or on other parts of the body such as the eyebrows.

Grace Dudley said she had experienced hair loss after recovering from Covid
Grace Dudley said she had experienced hair loss after recovering from Covid

The condition know as telogen effluvium (TE), is when a person temporarily experiences hair loss.

Doctors have said that this usually occurs if a patient has recently experienced a stressful situation.

TE occurs when the number of the follices in the scalp changes.

It usually affects the top of the scalp and in most cases the hair line will not recede if someone experiences TE.

Severe cases of TE will spread to the eyebrows and other parts of the body.

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Patients are often diagnosed with TE after a serious illness, a large amount of weight loss or a severe fever.

Earlier today, one woman who joined the Survivor Corp Facebook group said she had also been loosing large amounts of hair and that it was “very worrying”.

Dermatologist Shilpi Khetarpal said Covid survivors are increasingly reporting hair loss.

Writing in a blog he said: “We are seeing patients who had Covid-19 two to three months ago and are now experiencing hair loss. I think the timing is really crucial.

“Essentially, it is a temporary hair loss from excessive shedding due to a shock to the system. There are several common triggers, such as surgery, major physical or psychological trauma, any kind of infection or high fever, extreme weight loss or a change in diet.

What is telogen effluvium?

Telogen effluvium is a form of temporary hair loss which usually occurs at the top of the scalp – and is caused by factors like, shock, stress and poor diet

As people who recover from the coronavirus start to experience hair loss, here’s what you should look out for if you think you have telogen effluvium.

  • More hair on your pillow
  • Clumps of hair falling out in the shower
  • Scalp density

The symptoms can be subtle in some people and you might not even notice that there is anything wrong with your hair.

“Hormonal changes, such as post-partum or menopause, can also be a cause. There are other medical or nutritional conditions that can trigger this as well.”

He said there is usually a two or three month delay from the stressful event to when people start to notice hair loss.

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If you are experiencing TE then the scalp should look completely normal.

There should be no rash, itching or flaking and experts say if patients have these symptoms then they should see a dermatologist as this may be the cause of a skin condition.

Dr Khetarpal added: “Telogen effluvium isn’t a symptom of Covid-19 as much as it is a consequence of the infection.”

It comes after it was reported that half a million Brits are suffering from ‘long Covid’.

Experts have indicated psychosis, fatigue, loss of eyesight and mobility issues are among the wide-ranging conditions that have been identified in those who have previously contracted the virus.

The founder of the Long Covid Support Group Claire Hastie warned that GPs were regularly misdiagnosing ongoing problems as anxiety or ME, saying: “Many people in our group to this day are being told by their GPs that it’s caused by anxiety and it’s all in their heads.

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“It can cause anxiety, but it is not caused by anxiety. The science needs to catch up with us.”

She said figures from the King’s College London symptom tracker app showed that between 200,000 and 500,000 people in the UK are currently living with the long-term effects of Covid-19.

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