Dermatologists Discuss the Effects of Coronavirus Stress on Hair Loss –
There’s no question that we are all living in times of unprecedented stress because of the coronavirus. But are people really “losing their hair” over this? Unfortunately, dermatologists already know that the answer is yes: mental stress can lead to physical hair loss.
If you’re suddenly finding more strands of hair than usual in your shower or on your pillow, the stress and anxiety of the coronavirus may actually be to blame.
In this article NYC board certified dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldenberg discusses some of the most common effects that stress can have on hair loss.
Four Types of Stress Related Hair Loss
There are actually three types of new hair loss that are frequently associated with high stress levels. And, some studies indicated that stress can also accelerate certain types of pre-existing hair loss.
Stress and Telogen Effluvium Hair Loss
Telogen effluvium (TE) is a hair loss condition in which significant mental or physical stress causes large numbers of hair follicles to go into a “resting phase”. Often seen during pregnancy, TE hair loss is also common during highly stressful situations – such as the current coronavirus pandemic. The good news is that once the stress is alleviated, the hair loss typically reverses and the follicles begin to return to an active hair growth phase.
Stress and Alopecia Areata Hair Loss
Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss believed to be influenced by a variety of factors, including severe stress. During this hair loss condition, the body’s own immune system actually attacks the hair follicles. Alopecia areata is characterized by one or more circular patches of hair loss which may overlap.
Alopecia areata is a more serious form of stress-induced hair loss than TE, and requires a medical diagnosis and professional treatment by a dermatologist for the possibility of optimal hair restoration. Typically alopecia areata does not reverse on it’s own after the stress has subsided – and requires medical intervention.
Stress and Hair Pulling
Trichotillomania is a psychological disorder in which a person experiences an irresistible urge to pull out individual hairs from the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, or other areas of the body. While trichotillomania is not completely understood, it is know that the hair pulling can be triggered by negative feelings, such as stress, anxiety, isolation, or frustration.
If you are engaging in hair pulling behavior due to coronavirus stress, seeking a tele-therapy consultation with a licensed therapist as soon as possible is important. If stopped early enough, the hair follicles will recover and the hair will return. But if hair pulling goes on too long the hair loss can become permanent.
Stress and Male Pattern Baldness
Androgenetic alopecia – also called “male pattern hair loss” – is the most common type of hair loss. It affects 30 million women and 50 million men in the US alone. And while stress does not cause androgenic alopecia, there is some scientific evidence that stress can play a role in accelerating hair loss from this type of balding.
Hormonal factors appear to play a role in male/female pattern baldness – especially a male sex hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT). And when an individual experiences a stressful situation, their body’s level of hormones is affected. Stress may drive the body to produce more androgens (male hormones) – including the hair loss-causing hormone DHT – resulting in increased hair loss during times of stress and anxiety.
Treatments for Stress Related Hair Loss
The different types of hair loss are complex and diverse, and the best treatment for you will depend upon which type of stress-related hair loss you have. So the first step is always a consultation with a dermatologist who specializes in hair loss, like renowned hair-restoration pioneer Dr. Gary Goldenberg in NYC. He will identify the type and cause of your hair loss – so that the most effective treatment(s) can be prescribed.
The dermatologists at Goldenberg Dermatology in NYC offer many different and highly effective treatments to combat hair loss caused by stress, heredity, or other conditions. These state-of-the-art hair loss treatments include: PRP treatment and stem cell therapy hair restoration – as well as oral medications, topical medicines, and nutritional support for hair re-growth.
“Coronavirus Stress” Hair Loss Treatments – NYC
If you have noticed that your hair is thinning – either suddenly during the coronavirus pandemic, or slowly over time – NYC’s own Dr. Goldenberg can help determine the cause and prescribe the best treatment. Remember, the sooner hair loss is addressed and treated, the better the results.
We will help you determine whether medication, topical treatments, stem cell hair restoration and/or PRP treatments are the best hair restoration solution for your unique type of hair loss.
While there are many stresses associated with the coronavirus, hair loss does not have to be one of them. If you live in the greater NYC area, call Dr. Goldenberg today for an in-person or tele-dermatology hair loss consultation.