Hair loss, another symptom after COVID-19, say medical experts

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HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Some COVID-19 patients’ symptoms can linger after they recover. They range from breathing issues to loss of taste and smell. However, health experts said hair loss or thinning can also happen.

Dr. Chris Casso of South Texas Health System said hair thinning is a common symptom and is often seen in patients who recovered from the virus.

“During a chronic condition such as an illness like COVID-19, this can happen where that cycle is changed, so you have that excess hair loss,” said Dr. Casso.

She explained that hair goes through phases of growth and rest.

“What we think is happening during the stressful situation, is that the growth phase is shortened, and we get more of that phase in the telogen phase, which is the rest phase, so you end up losing more hair instead of the normal amount,” she said.

Dr. Casso said this symptom can happen to both men and women of any age and is usually seen in two to three months after getting the virus.

“Usually, people will recover from this from six months to twelve months after the illness,” said Dr. Casso.

To help with this symptom, she recommends living a healthy lifestyle, getting enough sleep, and keeping stress levels down.

“If you’re concerned, seeking attention just to make sure if it is just because of COVID or if it is something else because there are other causes of hair loss as well,” she said.

A medical professional, of V.I.P. Clinic in Brownsville, Erich Wittmer, said he has received interest in hair restoration from people that have recovered from COVID-19 and are suffering hair loss or thinning.

“We’re certified for PRP hair restoration, which is platelet-rich plasma, also we can do platelet-rich fibrin, which is going to be ways we can stimulate the hair to grow. Basically, we are getting that follicle back in a good state of health and is able to grow,” said Wittmer.

He explained the treatment is by using the plasma from a patient’s own blood.

“What we do is we take out about two tubes of blood it’s going to be about 30ml, and we put it into a centrifuge, and we spin it down at a certain speed, and then what we’ll do is we’ll reinject that into the scalp where they are having the hair loss.,” he said.

He said although patients are checking in after getting the virus, it is important to determine the reason for the patient’s hair loss.

“We get everything checked out by the physician and then from there we’re able to start the treatment and we can even run some hormone panels or vitamin panels, just to make sure we really know where their hair loss is caused from,” said Wittmer.

He said the symptoms may be temporary, but the hair restoration treatment can still provide benefits.

“Typically, what they see is that the hair loss is going to be temporary and what we can do is help speed up the process of growing the hair back and also make it thicker. It will grow back faster and thicker to give the appearance that there is more hair,” he said.

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