COVID-19 symptoms and hair loss solutions
Experts discover a link between COVID-19 symptoms and hair loss solutions.
A study by the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology has recently uncovered an interesting discovery relating to the recent COVID-19 pandemic. It seems that hair loss and COVID-19 symptoms might very well be connected, and the results will amaze you.
COVID-19 is unlike any other virus studied by virologists. In order to battle it, find a vaccine and alleviate symptoms, experts must first understand how it works. It goes without saying that people in the medical industry are losing a great deal of sleep trying to get to the bottom of this formidable virus.
During their research, experts unearthed something fascinating. It appears that severe cases of the virus, such as those that result in pneumonia, are much more likely to be experienced by adult men than women or boys below the age of fourteen.
‘But’, wondered the experts, ‘why?’
Originally, they linked the results to lifestyle choices. It’s true, smoking and alcohol consumption could certainly explain the differences in symptoms between boys and older men. However, this doesn’t account for the gap in symptom severity between men and women of the same age.
Here is where the link between male hair loss and COVID-19 enters the equation. Androgens are hormones that contribute to growth and reproduction. They’re present in both genders, but the female body only produces a small amount compared to men.
Androgenetic alopecia (AGA), or male-pattern hair loss, is the most common form of hair loss among men. People with AGA have genetic variances that influence the way androgens work in the body and hair loss is a by-product of this.
Previous studies have shown that when a virus like SARS or COVID-19 gets to the cells in the lungs, androgens play a big role in assisting the genes that help the body fight it.
Having AGA affects how androgens behave in the body which therefore, according to the above findings, influences the efficiency with which a person’s genes protect their lungs against a viral attack.
Thus, experts theorised that men with male-pattern hair loss may be at a higher risk of being hospitalised for severe complication of the COVID-19 virus than their female, youthful or tress-adorned counterparts.
To explore this correlation a study was undertaken of male patients at two Spanish university hospitals who had severe levels of COVID-19 leading to pneumonia.
The average prevalence of AGA among Caucasian Spanish men is around 31% – 53%. In the study group at the Spanish hospital, 71% were diagnosed with AGA.
This number is significant but it’s important to remember that the study was limited due to the burden faced by the hospitals at the time. Following on from this, researchers plan to conduct a controlled study to further analyse the correlation between androgens and the severity of virus symptoms.
If these studies show a correlation similar to the one discovered above, it may suggest that male-pattern hair loss is a risk factor when it comes to severe responses to COVID-19. This means that anti-androgen therapy could soon be seen as a form of COVID-19 treatment.
As medical professionals endeavour to find new ways to combat this dreadful virus, such exciting discoveries present fresh insights into ways to protect and even save the lives of those inflicted by the virus.
More information on this study can be found here.
Also see a recent media story run with Channel 7 for COVID related hair loss.