In a letter to the Journal of Dermatology, a group of dermatologists from Hamamatsu University School of Medicine and the Fujinomiya City General Hospital stated it’s probably that varied hair loss signs will emerge following the outbreak of COVID-19.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, more patients may experience several types of hair loss. Careful observation of each hair loss symptom and appropriate diagnosis and treatment selection are important.
The researchers reported a case of post-COVID-19 spot balding and excessive hair shedding in a 47-year-old woman.
Three weeks after the patient was discharged from the hospital, where she was treated for high fever and severe pneumonia induced by COVID-19, she experienced alopecia areata (AA), also known as spot baldness.
The researchers hypothesised that hair loss could be attributed to the “overzealous cytokine production” related to the COVID-19 sickness.
“This cytokine storm can lead to other disorders, including several autoimmune diseases. IFN-α and IFN-γ are also crucial inducers of AA after viral infections… Of course, there is no direct way to prove that COVID-19 is the cause of AA, but IFN-γ dominant intracytoplasmic cytokine balance may indicate COVID-19-induced AA in our case.”
The researchers concluded: “In our case, the COVID-19-induced cytokine storm may have caused not only high fever and severe pneumonia but also a sudden switch from the anagen to the catagen phase, followed by the telogen phase.”
A curious case of hair loss
This case of COVID-induced hair loss was not an remoted case. The researchers identified that there have been a number of case stories of the brand new onset of AA one to 2 months after the onset of COVID-19.
The affected person was handled for AA, however as quickly because it improved, the affected person additionally skilled vital hair shedding – dropping greater than 200 hairs a day – and was recognized with telogen effluvium (TE) 13 weeks after her COVID-19 an infection.
Under dermoscopic remark, it was revealed many vellus hairs on the scalp. Vellus hair is characterised as skinny and wispy hair, generally identified colloquially as child hair.
The group carried out a hair-plucking take a look at and located that telogen hair accounted for about 40% on the scalp.
There are 4 phases of the hair progress cycle: anagen, catagen, telogen and exogen. Telogen hairs are at a stage of resting and stay of their follicles with out actively rising.
“Our patient also suffered from acute TE, which is characterised by significant hair shedding that lasts less than six months and results from an abrupt shift in the hair cycle from the anagen phase to the catagen phase and subsequent entry into the telogen phase,” elaborated the researchers.
After eight weeks, terminal hair regrowth was noticed, and the extreme shedding had “almost completely stopped”, in response to the letter.
A case of telogen effluvium adopted by alopecia areata after SARS-CoV-2 an infection
Kageyama et al.
Source: Journal of Dermatology