People experiencing hair loss related to COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 3:42 PM, Oct 27, 2020

More people are experiencing hair loss related to the pandemic.

A dermatologist tells us that before the coronavirus crisis, she was seeing one or two patients per day for shedding. Now, they account for about 10 patients a day, which is half her daily caseload.

The patients can be broken into three categories.

Some people are seeing a sudden onset of hair loss. Others have a known disease, like psoriasis or alopecia, and are now seeing flare ups. Both of those are attributed to added stress.

Then, there's the patients who have had COVID-19 and are seeing shedding afterwards. That's not necessarily a direct result of the virus. It could be from the toll on the body.

Patients who have recovered from other viral diseases have also experienced hair loss afterwards.

“So, just the process of being sick, having a high fever, not eating well, those can be a shock to your system that can trigger hair shedding,” said Dr. Melissa Piliang, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

Hair loss patients who have had COVID-19 will have to work through their own recovery process. For those related to stress, you can try to manage it with things like exercise or meditation.

“One sign of stress is hair loss, but there's probably other internal signs that you may not even realize that you're experiencing and things you're putting your body through so, recognizing the stress and doing things to mitigate that is a very important thing to do at this time," said Piliang.

The American Academy of Dermatology Association says when hair loss is caused by fever or stress, it tends to return to normal on its own in less than a year.

If you think your hair loss might be caused by something else, talk to an expert.