A growing number of patients who were previously infected with the novel coronavirus have reported that they have been seeing excessive hair loss in the weeks and even months following their recoveries.
According to Business Insider, the symptom appears to be pervasive among recovered victims — yet so little known to health professionals that many patients have resorted to online forums to find answers and support.
For example, Peggy Goroly, a 56-year-old Long Island resident who was infected with the virus in March, claimed that she first sought help on a COVID-19 Facebook group after she noticed an abnormal amount of shedding, which she deemed “quite traumatic.”
Goroly’s 23-year-old daughter was also facing a similar problem, and the two were soon to discover that they were far from alone.
“I went on there one day and someone had posted, ‘Is anybody losing hair?’ And people were actually showing clumps of hair in their hand,” Goroly said.
“So I know I’m not crazy now.”
Though doctors are not positive about the cause behind the shedding, many believe that it is caused by telogen effluvium. The condition causes three times the normal amount of hair loss in the 12 weeks following a traumatic experience — such as battling a serious virus.
Dr. Nate Favini, the medical lead at Forward, a primary-care practice that’s collecting data on the symptoms and aftereffects of the coronavirus, added that another reason telogen effluvium seems likely is that it is more common in patients that had difficult cases.
“It tends to be in people who have pretty severe cases that we’ve seen it,” he explained.
“For other causes of telogen effluvium, we typically tell people: ‘three to six months, you’ll see improvement,'” he continued.
However, Favini warned that this might not be the case with COVID-19.
“With coronavirus, there’s always the caveat that we don’t understand this that well yet,” he concluded.
For example, Favini noted that many of those afflicted battled the virus for not just weeks, but several months.
“If that’s the case, then it becomes harder to predict when you’d have hair regrowth,” he said.
The doctor added that his best advice for those suffering from hair loss is “patience,” in addition to letting the body recover.
Other symptoms of COVID-19, which has so far infected 17.5 million worldwide and claimed nearly 680,000 lives, include difficulty breathing, dry cough, loss of smell, and fatigue.
The illness continues to spread across the United States, and hundreds of children and staff at a Georgia summer camp just tested positive for the disease, as was recently reported by The Inquisitr.