Do COVID-19 vaccines help prevent baldness?

Vaccines against COVID-19 can help you avoid getting the nasty virus, missing days of work or school, and ending up in the hospital or the cemetery.

But can they prevent him from going bald?

“Rona can cause hair loss,” warns a social media ad for California’s Vaccinate All 58 campaign depicting a man with a pencil-thin mustache in a 1970s baby blue suit, whose hair it’s being ripped out of his head. a cat’s paw labeled “rona” – slang for the coronavirus: “Protect your melon. Get vaccinated.”

Among the skeptics is Jay Bhattacharya, a professor at the Comte School of Medicine and a critic of the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Umm… Really?” Bhattacharya tweeted on September 21 after he said his daughter received the ad on his Facebook feed.

The California Department of Public Health confirmed the piece was one of its “assets,” but wouldn’t answer questions about the science behind it, or the super cheesy cartoon.

However, recently there have been several reports and studies linking the virus to hair loss.

“Months after recovering from COVID-19, many people find that their hair falls out in large clumps,” reports the American Dermatology Association. “Fever is a common symptom of COVID-19. A few months after having a high fever or recovering from an illness, many people see noticeable hair loss.”

But the sudden hair loss experienced by COVID patients is not the same as the genetically linked gradual baldness experienced by so many men, a condition that has turned hair loss treatment into a $3.4 billion industry in the US.

Instead, it’s a sudden, stress-induced shedding, medically known as telogen effluvium, says the American Academy of Dermatology. It’s not limited to men, and it’s not just seen after a bout of COVID.

“It happens when more hairs than normal enter the shedding (telogen) phase of the hair growth life cycle at the same time,” says the academy of dermatology. “A fever or illness can force more hairs into the shedding phase. Most people see noticeable hair loss two to three months after having a fever or illness.”

Fortunately, the academy said, unlike male pattern baldness, the condition is temporary.

“When the cause of the hair loss is due to a fever, illness or stress, the hair tends to return to normal on its own, you just need to give it time,” says the academy. “Most people see their hair return to its normal fullness within six to nine months.”

Several people who responded to Bhattacharya said they had also experienced some hair loss after being sick with the virus. The professor responded that alopecia, the broader family of hair loss conditions, “sometimes happens after covid infection and even vax.”

A 2021 study from the Academy of Dermatology seems to back it up. He noted that while recent reports had suggested that COVID-19 can trigger alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that causes sudden hair loss, he also documented cases of the syndrome in people after vaccination against the virus.

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