BENGALURU: While post-Covid problems like myalgia fever, fatigue, shortness of breath were seen amongst many patients, doctors are now seeing worried patients coming to them carrying their bunch of fallen hair strands in paper bags or zip pouches.
Hair loss is another post-Covid effect noted by doctors, 90 days after recovery from the virus.
The doctors attributed a 15-20 per cent surge in the number of hair loss cases during the second wave. The patients who were infected during the second wave in the month of April and May, are now reporting severe hair loss.
The condition the doctors stated is called, Telogen Effluvium - temporary hair loss which usually occurs when the root becomes weak, after viral illness or medications and stress of traumatic event.
Dr Anil Abraham, Consultant Trichologist and Dermatologist, Abrahams Skin & Hair Clinic, and former Professor & Head, St. John’s Medical College, said, "The numbers seen now are too large. Earlier, we would see 4-5 patient coming in with hair loss on a single day, now the numbers have gone up by 20% and every patient has a history of Covid-19.
"Patients are stating they are scared to comb the hair, as it is just coming out from roots. Lesser nutritional intake, stress with lack of bed availability and oxygen during second wave, and reduced Vitamin D and B 12 levels can be the reasons of hair loss."
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Dr. Shireen Furtado, Consultant - Medical & Cosmetic Dermatology, Aster CMI Hospital stated that the cases are large and alarming,where the patients usually carry the fallen hair in bags to show the severity of hair fall.
"During the recovery, the body use all the available resources (biotin, nutrients, etc.) and distribute to all the main organs. Hair, skin and nail do not receive the required nutrients which can lead to hair fall in most of the post-Covid patients," she opined.
The treatments for hair loss includes good nutrition, treat deficiencies, regular exercise, supplements, PRP or hair serums. Get treatment after testing from a qualified dermatologist/trichologist
On average, the hair fall is somewhere between 50 to 100 hair strands and if the hair fall rate is more than 100 hair strands per day, then it can be considered as an after effect of Covid, said Dr. Rashmi Ravindra, Consultant - Dermatology / Cosmetology, Fortis Hospital.
"If a person sees excess hair strands on the floor or pillows, it is better to see a Dermatologist and ensure the optimum nutrition supplement is received. The right shampoo or hair growth serum can be advised, which will be beneficial to get back the growth early," the doctor added.
Dr. Gunashekhar Vuppalapatti, Consultant Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon of GVG Invivo Hospital pointed out that most of the cases are seen in 20 years and above age group.
"The treatment for these patients is Platelets Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy to help their hairs grown back to previous levels. During the treatment, we collect blood samples from the patient and isolate platelets, stimulate them to release growth factors after which it is injected into their scalp. This is one of the safest therapy that GVG Invivo has given to a lot of patients who came to us."