Hair loss affects 30% of patients in post-Covid. See how to treat

For most of those infected with the new coronavirus, remission of the disease is not the end of the problems. Among the most common sequelae are shortness of breath, tiredness and a general condition of dejection that makes it appear that the infection has become chronic. There are also some less common consequences, such as skin blemishes and hair loss. The latter affects patients cured of Covid soon after the end of the main symptoms or in the following months. Public relations professional Janaína Maximo, who had the disease in July last year, suffers from hair loss to this day. She reported the loss of entire strands of hair since she contracted coronavirus.

– In the first two months, I would wake up and in my bed I had a lot of hair, just like on the floor or in the hairpin, every time I tied my hair. When I felt my head itch, I already knew that hair was going to fall out. Some people said that the itch was from new hair being born, but I didn’t notice any of that.

Carla Nogueira, dermatologist at the Mais Cabello clinic, explains that hair loss is a sequel to Covid due to inflammatory processes or stress:

– The condition occurs in approximately 30% of individuals diagnosed with coronavirus infection, and may affect men and women equally. This acute hair loss, called telogen effluvium, is also seen in diseases such as zika and chikungunya, other important viruses that cause physiological stress. The problem occurs due to a reaction of the organism to the virus, leading to the alteration of the capillary cycle.

The expert also comments that a possible explanation for this fall is the reduction in the distribution of nutrients and oxygen that the body suffered when it was exposed to the coronavirus:

– During the infection, the person has considerable drops in the distribution of nutrients and oxygen. And the body has this intelligence: it understands the hair and nail as not so irrelevant parts, and stops sending nutrients to those areas. Then hair begins to fall and the nails become more brittle.

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For Carla, there is no specific form of treatment because it is the late consequence of a problem that has passed. What can be done is to take care to reduce the damage:

– A lot of people stop washing their hair because they think it will fall more in the wash, but that is wrong. The hair needs to be washed always. There are shampoos, ointments, vitamins and other substances that can help.

Luciana Andrade, a pharmacist at Dermatus, reiterates that the wires can recover between three and six months, but the patient can accelerate this time, which is very private.

– If suddenly the patient has a condition that aggravates this fall, he will feel the effects more severely. There is a whole process of hair growth, but it can be accelerated by hair lotions, active ingredients, substances such as Biotin, oral organic silicon, which helps in anchoring the hair, D’pantenol, green tea, which is a potent antioxidant, and other substances that can help – comments Luciana.

It is a consensus among professionals that good nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits are essential for the reduction of hair loss caused by Covid. It is also important to seek professional help and avoid self-medication.

How to deal with

Find a specialist

Dermatologists can assess the cause of the fall and indicate the most effective treatment for recovering lost hair.

Care

Try to avoid the abusive use of the board and chemicals such as the definitive or progressive brush with very short intervals. Avoid sleeping with wet hair, tied, braided or clipped. Always keep your hair clean, but do not wash it in very hot water.

Drink water

Water is an important ally of health in general, mainly for the strong and healthy growth of hair. Consume at least 2 liters daily

Have a healthy diet

A healthy diet, rich in natural foods, helps the body to prevent and fight inflammatory processes. Some nutrients such as minerals (zinc, selenium, calcium, silicon and iron), vitamins (E, C and B complex), proteins and whole grains are extremely beneficial for strengthening the hair.

Do exercises

Physical activities help to reduce the stress levels of the body, in addition to contributing to the body’s disinflammation. Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily.

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