A Systematic Review of Acute Telogen Effluvium, a Harrowing Post-COVID-19 Manifestation

    December 2021 in “ Journal of Medical Virology
    Nabeel Hussain, Preeti Agarwala, Kinza Iqbal, Hanaa Mohamed Sheikh Omar, Gurusha Jangid, Vaibhavi Patel, Sawai Singh Rathore, Chandani Kumari, Felipe Velasquez‐Botero, Guadalupe Abigail Benítez López, Yogesh Vishwakarma, Airin Parvin Nipu, Naveed Ahmed
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    TLDR COVID-19 can cause a type of hair loss that usually starts 74 days after infection, affecting mostly women, but most patients eventually recover.
    This systematic review, which analyzed data from 19 studies involving 465 patients, focused on acute telogen effluvium (TE), a type of diffuse hair loss, in patients who had recovered from COVID-19. The median age of these patients was 44 years, and 67.5% were females. The most common findings were decreased hair density, empty follicles, or short regrowing hair. The average time from the onset of COVID-19 symptoms to the appearance of acute TE was 74 days, which is earlier than classic acute TE. While most patients recovered from hair loss, some experienced persistent hair fall. The study emphasizes the need to consider post-COVID-19 acute TE in patients presenting with hair fall who have a history of COVID-19 infection. Despite being a self-limiting condition, hair loss post-COVID-19 can cause significant stress, and identifying COVID-19 as a potential cause of acute TE can help clinicians counsel patients and alleviate their stress.
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