COVID-19 stress, inflammation tied to hair loss, experts say

Pandemic-induced stress and post-infection inflammation can cause temporary hair loss, The New York Times reported Feb. 18. 

Telogen effluvium, or temporary hair loss, can be spurred by fever, illness and severe stress. 

"Any type of severe stress can trigger it, whether it's stress on your body from illness or emotional stress such as the death of a loved one," Abigail Cline, MD, PhD, a dermatologist at New York Medical College in Valhalla told the Times. "Even though not everyone has been infected with COVID-19, we're all living with it." 

The Times cited data showing Google searches for hair loss increased by 8 percent over the last year in the U.S., translating to an average of about 829,000 searches per month. 

Jerry Shapiro, MD, a dermatologist at New York City-based NYU Langone Health told the news outlet that a high fever or flu-like illness can disrupt the normal ratio of growing to resting hairs. Growing hairs typically make up 90 percent of hair, while resting hairs make up 10 percent. When disrupted, it can shift to a 50-50 ratio. 

For some, hair loss arises during the COVID-19 recovery process about three to four months after infection, the Times reported. 

To read the full article, click here. 

More articles on public health:
US COVID-19 cases fall for 5th straight week: 12 CDC stats to know
COVID-19 death rates by state: Feb. 22
States ranked by percentage of COVID-19 vaccines administered 



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