Hallberg's Picture of Health

Doctors seeing more abnormal hair loss during pandemic

The New York Times reports that doctors are seeing more people with abnormal hair loss during the pandemic.

“It’s really not surprising that it’s happening at this time,” said Dr. Jon Hallberg, medical director of the University of Minnesota Physicians Mill City Clinic. “I bet many people personally know that if they’ve had an illness, major surgery, some kind of emotional trauma, that temporary hair loss can occur.

“And I think it’s way beyond COVID,” he said. “There’s just so much stress right now with the pandemic, with loss of job, not being able to attend funerals or weddings or graduations.”

Hallberg said the stress hormone cortisol may be causing people to lose hair. It could also be a consequence of inflammation in the body. He said some people who had COVID-19 are reporting abnormal hair loss — clumps at a time as opposed to the expected 50 to 100 strands a day — weeks or months after they’ve overcome the illness.

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