The COVID-19 vaccines can assist preserve you from getting the nasty virus, lacking many days of labor or faculty, and ending up within the hospital or the graveyard.
But can they preserve you from going bald?
“Rona can lead to hair loss,” warns a social media advert from California’s Vaccinate All 58 marketing campaign depicting a fellow with a pencil-thin moustache in a baby-blue swimsuit straight out of the Seventies, whose hair is being snatched from his head by a cat paw labeled “rona” — slang for the coronavirus: “Protect your melon. Get vaxed.”
Count Stanford Medical School professor and COVID-19 lockdown critic Dr. Jay Bhattacharya among the many skeptics.
“Umm… Seriously?” Bhattacharya tweeted Sept. 21 after he mentioned his daughter acquired the advert in her Facebook feed.
Umm… Seriously? pic.twitter.com/PyhXgvLaYq
— Jay Bhattacharya (@DrJBhattacharya) September 22, 2022
The California Department of Public Health confirmed the piece was one among their “assets,” however didn’t reply to questions in regards to the science behind it — or the tremendous tacky cartoon.
However, there have been quite a lot of reviews and research just lately linking the virus to hair loss.
“Months after recovering from COVID-19, many people find that their hair is falling out in large clumps,” reviews the American Academy of Dermatology Association. “Fever is a common symptom of COVID-19. A few months after having a high fever or recovering from an illness, many people see noticeable hair loss.”
But the sudden hair loss skilled by COVID sufferers isn’t the identical because the genetically linked gradual balding skilled by so many males — a situation that has made hair loss treatment a $3.4 billion industry within the U.S.
Instead, it’s a sudden, stress-induced shedding, recognized medically as telogen effluvium, the American Academy of Dermatology says. It isn’t restricted to males, and it isn’t solely seen after a bout of COVID.
“It happens when more hairs than normal enter the shedding (telogen) phase of the hair growth lifecycle at the same time,” the dermatology academy says. “A fever or illness can force more hairs into the shedding phase. Most people see noticeable hair shedding two to three months after having a fever or illness.”
Fortunately, the academy mentioned, in contrast to male-pattern baldness, the situation is momentary.
“When the cause of your hair shedding is due to a fever, illness, or stress, hair tends to return to normal on its own, you just have to give it time,” the academy says. “Most people see their hair regain its normal fullness within six to nine months.”
Plenty of individuals who replied to Bhattacharya mentioned they too had had some hair loss after being unwell with the virus. The professor responded that alopecia, the broader household of hair loss situations, “sometimes happens after covid infection and even the vax.”
A 2021 study by the dermatology academy appeared to again that up. It famous that whereas latest reviews had recommended that COVID-19 might set off alopecia areata, an autoimmune situation that causes sudden hair loss, it additionally documented circumstances of the syndrome in folks following vaccination in opposition to the virus.
“Hair loss following SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is an increasingly reported phenomenon in the United States and globally,” the examine mentioned.
It’s onerous to say how frequent the hair loss phenomenon is, whether or not after an infection or vaccination. After all, Gov. Gavin Newsom, who’s vaccinated, boosted and had COVID, nonetheless has his well-known thick, slicked-back locks, and joked just lately he’d be pleased to carry his hair gel if his Republican counterpart in Florida will carry his hair spray to a debate.
But does the COVID-19 vaccine forestall hair loss? Bhattacharya, one of many California Department of Public Health’s harshest critics, asserted there’s “no good evidence for that.”
“It’s a strange way to convince people to take the vax,” he mentioned.