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Recovered COVID patients experiencing hair loss

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Coronavirus

ALTOONA (WQOW) - Some recovered COVID patients are seeing lasting side effects after recovery: an altered sense of taste, loss of smell, and for some, hair loss.

One local physician explained that after a severe stressor on the body, such as childbirth, major surgery, or overcoming a major virus such as COVID, the body works to protect its most vital functions and hair growth isn't one of them.

"There's a medical term for it, telogen effluvium, and it's common across all these sorts of major stressors to the body," said Dr. Berkin Ulgen with Prevea Family Medicine in Altoona. "So, the body essentially prioritizes what it needs to do to survive so we end up getting these secondary effects from it."

The good news is this effect isn't permanent and hair should begin returning to normal in six to 12 months.

While some treatments are available that aim to promote hair growth, officials say there isn't much evidence to prove they'll actually make the hair grow any faster than it normally would, so it's best to just wait it out.

McKenna Alexander

McKenna Alexander is the weekend anchor and a multimedia journalist for News 18. She started in June 2019. She was born in San Francisco, but spent the majority of her life growing up in Dallas.

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