The American actress and activist Alyssa Milano, famous for her role in ‘Who’s the Boss’ series had contracted Covid-19 infection. Her battle with the epidemic during April became viral in the social media only when she revealed the news in the last week.
In a follow-up post on social media, she told fans that four months on, she is experiencing a large amount of hair loss. “I just wanted to show you the amount of hair that is coming out of my head, as a result of Covid,” she says in the video, before combing her wet hair with a detangling brush.
After three strokes, she holds it to the camera to show a sizeable clump of hair. She then continues brushing for about a minute, before holding up another a large ball of hair. “One brushing,” she says. “This is my hair loss from Covid-19. Wear a damn mask.”
The symptoms of Covid infections are perfectly documented by physicians. Patients may exhibit fever, dry cough, sneeze, soar throat and may be respiratory difficulties. Chances are hardly any for aches, diarrhea, rashes and loss of taste and smell. Hair loss also has no recognized proof as a Covid symptom.
“Hair loss is not a symptom of Covid-19,” Dr Rekha Santosh, dermatology specialist at Burjeel Hospital Abu Dhabi, stated. “However, some patients experience excessive hair fall a few weeks after being infected with Covid-19. This is called telogen effluvium, which can be triggered by any severe illness and also medication used during the treatment of Covid-19. However, this hair loss is temporary and resolves itself.”
This explanation is echoed by Dr Osman El-Labban, head of the department of family medicine at Al Zahra Hospital Dubai, who has seen reports of patients experiencing hair loss after suffering from the coronavirus.
“Although the list of Covid-19 symptoms from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not include hair loss, we are seeing an increasing number of reports denoting that patients who had Covid-19 two to three months ago are now experiencing hair loss,” he said.
“The phenomenon is telogen effluvium, non-scarring hair loss that is the result of an abnormal shift in follicular cycling … more hairs are going into the resting phase, resulting in more hair falling out, particularly from the top of the scalp.” Dr El-Labban assures patients that this is not uncommon, and in fact is seen “a fair amount”.
Back in April, Alyssa Milano had a battle with Covid and was hospitalized. She waited until this week to reveal that she had contracted the coronavirus earlier this year, and says she had “basically every Covid-19 symptom”.
On August 6, the 47-year-old actress shared a photo of herself on Instagram that was taken in April, in which she’s wearing a home ventilator.
The accompanying caption reads: “This was me on April 2 after being sick for two weeks. I had never been this kind of sick. Everything hurt. Loss of smell. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t keep food in me. I lost nine pounds in two weeks. I was confused. Low-grade fever. And the headaches were horrible. I basically had every Covid-19 symptom.”
She went on to say that she had concerns about the testing system in the US, as she took two Covid-19 tests in March, “and both were negative”. She also took an antibody test, for which she was given a negative result.
The actress said that she wanted to bring about the importance of having personal hygiene and social distancing to curb this pandemic.