woman upset about her hair loss looking at hair in brush

Sudden Hair Loss in Women Post-COVID-19

It’s been just over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and in that time, researchers have been studying the virus and its effects on the human body. One of the most recent discoveries has been the correlation between COVID-19 and hair loss in women. Studies have shown that hair loss is a common symptom in post-menopausal women who have contracted COVID-19. In fact, research suggests that this may be the most common symptom in this population!

How Long COVID-19 is Causing Hair Loss

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected more than 494 million people worldwide since 2019 and continues to be a major public health concern to this day. Most people will recover from the disease within days to weeks of the illness, however, some will experience post-COVID conditions. These conditions can be new, returning, or ongoing health problems that people experience four or more weeks after first being infected with the virus. One of the more alarming conditions that can present post-COVID infection is hair loss. Clinical surveys conducted in Spain and India have demonstrated higher rates and severity of hair loss in patients diagnosed with COVID-19 compared to patients of the same age who were not infected. Additionally, a large longitudinal study conducted in China found hair loss to be the most prevalent complaint of post-COVID patients.

Signs of Post-COVID Hair Loss in Women

Patients who experience hair loss after a COVID-19 infection may notice clumps of hair falling out during brushing or while washing in the shower. Hair growth occurs in phases called anagen, when hair is actively growing, and telogen, when hair is resting and then eventually shed.  In a healthy human being, about 90% of hair is in the growth phase and 10% is in the resting or shedding phase.  When an individual experiences a stressful event, such as a COVID-19 infection, hair can abruptly shift from the growth phase to the shedding phase.  During an event like this up to 50% of hair shifts to the shedding phase, which is much more than the normal 10%, leading to significant hair loss.  Pro-inflammatory molecules, called cytokines, which are released during an infection are thought to be the trigger for this kind of hair loss.

A New Treatment for Hair Loss for Women

It can take several months for individuals to recover from post-COVID hair loss. Even after the hair loss has stopped, many will notice that their hair is not as thick as it once was due to the slow pace at which hair grows. Fortunately, there are medications available to aid in the hair regrowth process. Pharmacy Solutions offers a Triple Combination Therapy in which minoxidil, finasteride, and latanoprost work together to synergistically to stop hair loss and stimulate hair growth.

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