COVID-19: Telogen Effluvium Hair Loss due to Covid-19 Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment-TSHblog

Hair Loss Due To Covid-19
Hair Loss Due to Covid-19

Hair Loss Due to Covid-19

It has been reported that most of the patients tested positive for Covid-19 patients are facing hair loss condition after 2 to 3 months. The dermatologist says that nowadays more than 70% of complaints of hair loss are from the Covid-19 Survivors. In more than 98% of these complainers, the hair loss is diagnosed as Telogen Effluvium hair loss, which is a temporary hair loss that occurs after long medication and illness.

Is Hair Loss Symptom of Covid-19?

No, hair loss is not a symptom of Covid-19 because no such symptom is reported in a single Covid-19 patient in the early stage. Hair loss has been reported, not in all but in most of the patients, after 2 to 3 months in the Covid-19 contracted patients. The experimental data shows that hair loss is not a symptom of Covid-19 but a consequence of Covid-19.

Is Hair Loss Due to Covid-19 is Temporary?

Yes, the hair loss due to Covid-19 is temporary, because the hair loss due to Covid-19 is diagnosed as Telogen Effluvium, which is a temporary hair loss that regrows in 3 to six months after recovery from triggering condition. So you should not worry about your hair loss after recovery from Covid-19. You will gain your beauty and hair soon.

In How Much Time the Hair Lost Due to Covid-19 will Regrow?

In acute case the hair lost due to Covid-19 regrow in 3 to 6 months, while in chronic case it regrows in six to twelve months.

Type of Hair Loss Due to Covid-19

The hair loss in Covid-19 patients is due to stress and nutrition deficiency. Such hair loss is called Telogen Effluvium. The Dermatologists diagnosed the hair loss in the 98% of Covid-19 patients as Telogen Effluvium. Which is explained in detail below

What is Telogen Effluvium Hair Loss?

Telogen effluvium is hair loss condition that occur due to the entrance of large number of follicles, a structure responsible for hair growth, into Telogen phase (the resting phase). The hairs grow in cycle called hair growth cycle, which consist of three phases the Anagen phase (growing phase), Catagen phase (in which hair detached from follicle) and Telogen phase, the resting phase in which hairs fall out. The average duration of Telogen phase is from 60 to 90 days. In Telogen Effluvium the duration of Telogen phase increases due to which the hair fallout rate increases than its growth rate. This imbalance in the fallout and regrowth of hairs lead to partial baldness or receding of hair lines.

Understanding Telogen Effluvium Hair Loss

To understand the phenomena of Telogen Effluvium we should know about the hair growth cycle.

Hair Growth Cycle

The hairs grow in a cycle in which the hair goes through different phases. According to an estimate there are approximately 100,000 hairs on the scalp, which grows in the following three phases.

Anagen Phase

The duration of this phase is from 3 to 5 years in which the hairs grow up to 1 to 3 feet. The length of this phase and hairs depends on many factors including age, geographical location, genetics, nutrition and health.

Catagen Phase

It is the second phase in the hair growth cycle, shorter than anagen phase. Its maximum duration is 10 days during this phase the hair detached from follicle and stop growing.

Telogen Phase

This is the resting phase in which no new hair grows from follicles. Its duration is from 60 to 90 days. During this phase the hair fall out on an average of 70 to 150 hairs per day.

Any disruption in this cycle may leads to Telogen Effluvium hair loss. In Telogen Effluvium hair loss condition more than 50% follicles are pushed into Telogen Phase, the resting phase. Due to which the hair line on the scalp recede more than 50%. As hair follicles are at the bottom of priority list of body for energy provision. Whenever emergency is declared in the body or body enter a shock. The body stop the supply of blood and nutrients to the unnecessary parts body which include hair follicles, due to which maximum number of follicles enter to resting phase that causes Telogen Effluvium hair loss.

Types of Telogen Effluvium Hair Loss

Telogen Effluvium hair loss is further categorized into the following two categories.

Acute Telogen Effluvium

This is the uncomplicated form of Telogen Effluvium hair loss that started after 50 to 60 days of triggering condition. The hair lost during Telogen Effluvium regrow within six months when the condition that causes hair loss is cured.

Chronic Telogen Effluvium

This is the complicated form of Telogen Effluvium hair loss. Such hair loss continues for a long time after recovery from health condition that causes hair loss. This may take more time than a year in regrowth.

Causes of Telogen Effluvium Hair Loss

There are a number of health conditions that disturb the Hair Growth Cycle and causes Telogen Effluvium hair loss. These include the following conditions.

1. Prolonged Stress

Severe stress for a long period of time is the main cause of Telogen Effluvium hair loss. During the stress condition the body release Corticosteroids that supply energy to the brain and muscles and stop the other part of the body to absorb energy. Which deprives the hair follicles from energy and nutrients due to which the follicles stop the regrowth of new hairs.

2. Nutrients Deficiency

Hair growth is a continuous and regular process that needs a continuous supply of energy and essential nutrients like protein, Iron, Zinc, Vitamins-B, Vitamin-C, and Vitamin-D. In case of any deficiency of these nutrients, may leads to Telogen Effluvium hair loss.

3. Menopause

Menopause is Women’s specific condition that occurs in older age women. It is considering the end of menstrual cycles. During this process many hormonal changes occur in the body that causes Telogen Effluvium along with other changes in the body.

4. Pregnancy

During and after pregnancy different hormonal changes occur in the body of women that causes receding of the hairline. This typical type of hair loss is called post-partum Telogen Effluvium.

5. Medication

Prolong use of medicines of TB, Cancer chemotherapy, family planning, and medicines like isotretinoin and oral contraceptives also lead to telogen effluvium hair loss.

6. Weight Loss

Sudden and excessive weight loss may lead to telogen effluvium hair loss. For weight loss, the calorie intake is reduced which deprives follicles from energy and nutrients.

7. Health Conditions

Health conditions like hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and autoimmune disorders are another cause of telogen effluvium.

8. Surgery

Admitting for a long time in the hospital, going through complex surgical procedures and medication also causes the hair to fall which is also diagnosed as telogen effluvium.

9. Environmental Agent

Different physical situations like the exposure of hair to heat, dust, or rays of heavy metal quickly lead to telogen effluvium. Other physical accident that causes mental may also cause hair loss.

Symptoms of Telogen Effluvium Hair Loss

There are no clear differentiating symptoms of Telogen Effluvium. But however, there are some symptoms and signs that help dermatologist to differentiate between other types of hair loss and Telogen Effluvium hair loss.

1. Thinning of Hair

The first symptom of Telogen Effluvium is the thinning of hair.  It may occur all over the scalp or on the targeted area on the scalp. Sometimes thinning of hair occurs unevenly in multiple places.

2. Receding of Hair Line

After days of the start of Telogen Effluvium, you will feel receding hairline both in male and female. In Telogen Effluvium hair fall out rate increases from 70 to 150 hair per day, which is the normal fall out rate, and within few days the hairline will start receding.

3. More Hair Fall Out on Washing and Combing

Loss of hair on washing and combing is usual. But its increase from normal limit is the sign of Telogen Effluvium hair loss.

4. Hair Loss from Eyebrows and Other Parts of Body

In acute Telogen Effluvium hair loss only occur on the scalp while in chronic Telogen Effluvium hair loss occurs not only on the scalp, but also from eyebrows, eyelashes, and the other region near the pubic bone.

How to Diagnose Telogen Effluvium?

In the process of diagnosing Telogen Effluvium, the following tests help the doctor to diagnose Telogen Effluvium.

1. Checking the Length and Thickness of Fall Out Hair

The doctors will check the thickness and length of fall out hairs. The length and diameter of fallen hairs give a clue to the doctor about Telogen Effluvium.

2. Counting the Number of Fall out Hairs

The doctors will ask to count the number of hairs fallen in 24 hours. If the number is greater than 100 then it is the sign of Telogen Effluvium.

3. Pull Out Test

The doctor will pull out a bunch of 35 to 40 hairs and will count the number of hairs shed by pulling. Also, a white bulb will be checked at the end of the fallen hairs.

4. Wash and Combing Test

The patient will be asked to wash and comb the hair and count the number of hairs that fall out during washing and combing. The number of hairs lost helps the doctor to diagnose the hair loss is Telogen Effluvium.

5. Blood Test

The patients are asked to perform the following blood test to ease the diagnosis of hair loss.

  • Complete Blood Count Test-CBC
  • Complete Urine Examination
  • Vitamin D deficiency Test
  • TFT- Thyroid Function Test

Treatment of Telogen Effluvium Hair Loss

There is no specific treatment of Telogen Effluvium. But however, addressing the following issues and taking some vitamins and mineral supplement helps in the regrowth of hairs.

1. Addressing the Triggering Condition

Telogen Effluvium is a subclinical condition. The hair loss starts after 30 to 60 days of the start of triggering condition and regrow within three to six months after the end of the health condition. Different health conditions like thyroid disorder, Tuberculosis, and cancer causes telogen effluvium hair loss. Treating these disorders also improves hair loss conditions.

2. Reducing Stress

Being in stress is the major cause of Telogen Effluvium hair loss. It is evident from a lot of clinical trials that reducing stress has reversed the hair loss condition in most of the patients. In addition to stress, if a patient is facing Telogen Effluvium hair loss, he should manage his stress via behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, or other stress management techniques.

3. Taking Balance Diets          

Poor diet, deficient of valuable minerals, and vitamins is another cause of Telogen Effluvium hair loss. To reverse the symptoms of Telogen Effluvium hair loss the patient should take vitamins and mineral supplements according to need. To study the complete role of each vitamin and mineral in Telogen Effluvium you may check our previous post. I personally recommend the following vitamins and minerals supplements available online.

4. Improve Hair Care

As there is no specific medicine for the treatment of Telogen Effluvium except Minoxidil or Rogaine. Which is non-prescribing medicine approved by the Federal Drug Authority of the United States of America. I personally emphasize on improving hair care, which significantly reduces the hair falling rate in most of my patients. The hair care procedures include the following steps.

4.1. Protecting Hair from Dust and Heat

As in the early stage of Telogen Effluvium hair starts thinning and then the weak and thin hairs start falling. The patients can protect thin hairs from falling using heat and dust protectors. There are several dust and heat protectors available in the market both for men and women.

4.2. Combing Hairs with Wooden Comb

As this point didn’t seem logical. But it is a very tricky and scientific one. In childhood, you would observe that rubbed plastic attracts small pieces of paper, it is all due to polarized charge on the rubbed plastic. Similarly, using a plastic-comb for combing creates charge polarization. Combing hairs with charge plastic comb damage the health of hairs. To avoid this the patient of Telogen Effluvium should use wooden-comb now available in the market.

The second point to take care of in this section is using the comb of wide jaws. Combing the weak, thin, and congested hairs of Telogen Effluvium patients with a comb of tight jaws increase the rate of hair loss. I personally recommend to patients a wooden comb of open jaws available online.

4.3. Proper Oiling of Hairs

Oiling hair has a list of benefits that we cannot list all of them here. Oiling hair protects hair from falling and helps in regrowth of hair. In my clinic, I personally noted that in the Telogen Effluvium patients with dry hair have a high falling rate than with hydrated hairs. In Telogen Effluvium keeping hair hydrated is the best option. Oiling hair twice in a day is recommended. I recommend this coconut oil to use at least three times a week.

4.4. Washing Hair with Hair Growing Shampoo

I recommend a daily wash of hair to the Telogen Effluvium hair loss patients. That keeps their hair clean and dust-free which minimizes the chances of any fungal infection on the scalp. Here the selection of shampoo for hair wash is a key point. You should stop using all other unnecessary chemicals and shampoos, should use only those shampoo which is free of parabens and sulfates and derived from natural ingredients. The LARITELLE shampoo which is free of the above-mentioned substances and is naturally derived from ingredients like cedarwood and ginger.                 

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