MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Post COVID-19, people have experienced long-term effects — one of which is hair loss.
Mindi Birkenholz endured a horrific case of COVID, being quarantined for months after returning from a cruise.
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She says she pulled her hair out in her hands, not knowing if it would ever come back.
“I didn’t care, I would go through anything that would bring my hair back,” Birkenholz said.
A traumatic COVID experience got worse for Birkenholz. The moment she thought she was on the verge of recovery, she realized she was losing her hair.
“I was very weak, very tired, and I rested for another month, and in those two months my hair fell out in clumps,” Birkenholz said.
dr Aron Nusbaum is a dermatologist at the Miami Hair Institute.
“The hair loss you would see after contracting COVID would be the same type of hair loss you would see after any type of serious illness, emotional stress, hormonal imbalances, postpartum, due to certain medications or a vitamin and mineral deficiency said Dr. walnut. “So COVID-related hair loss is just another form of what we call TE.”
Birchwood lost tufts of hair in the shower.
“Before, maybe a few hairs came out or it wasn’t even noticeable. It would go down the drain, that was literally sitting on the floor of my shower,” Birkenholz said.
She’s had tons of hair all her life. And it was long, down to her lower back.
“I thought I’d get a wig. For example, I told my husband I was going to buy a wig, and then I said I was going to do a hair transplant,” Birkenholz said.
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Then she saw Dr. Nusbaum and he treated her with a platelet rich plasma or PRP injection. A hair transplant was not necessary for her case as it was not permanent.
“We have found that over 90% of patients who do PRP will notice at least a lower rate of hair loss. If someone has temporary hair loss and is treated with PRP, they may not need to repeat it. But if you have permanent forms of hair loss, unlike COVID, you need to keep the treatments going for them to be effective,” said Dr. walnut.
You typically lose 50 to 100 hairs a day, which sounds like a lot but nothing to worry about.
Birkenholz says she lost twice that every day.
“I brought a little ziplock bag with all my hair and said it wasn’t normal hair loss and he said no it’s not,” Birkenholz said.
It has been months since her PRP treatment and she will be back for another later in the summer.
She says most of her hair has come back in the places she was worried about, but she still has a long way to go.
“I can start to feel more density right at my scalp, so I think things are working. I look at myself and say no one knows what I’ve been through, no one knows my hair was thinning or I lost it so I’ll be thankful I got back to this point but it’s still not there where it was,” Birkenholz said.
dr Nusbaum said this is the same kind of hair loss you could get from a bad illness, after childbirth, or from an emotional stressful situation.
It should be noted that it is temporary and will recur over time, and not every patient who has a cover will experience hair loss.
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But if you do, it’s best to consult your doctor before undergoing any treatment.