Mother reveals she ended up with baldness due to stress-triggered hair loss from Covid-19

A woman has revealed how she ended up with baldness after suffering hair loss triggered by the pandemic.

Charlotte Hawksley, 33, from Bournemouth, first noticed a 10 pence-sized bald spot on the top of her head in November 2020.

Over the next few months, she noticed clumps of hair falling out in the shower, until the patch was about the size of a fist.

A doctor diagnosed the problem as hair loss caused by stress. There are several types of stress related hair loss. One of the most common is telogen effluvium (TE), which occurs when severe stress pushes a large number of hair follicles into a resting phase, causing hair to fall out during combing or washing.

Charlotte Hawksley, 33, of Bournemouth, first noticed a bald patch the size of a 10 pence coin on her head in November 2020. Over the following months, she noticed tufts of hair falling under the shower, until finally the plate is about the size of a fist (photo)

Charlotte, a saleswoman who lives with her daughter Evie, 10, said she

Charlotte, a sales assistant who lives with her daughter Evie, 10, said she “didn’t think much of it” when she first spotted the baldness but eventually had to hide the baldness with blindfolds. hair

“The fact that it was due to stress makes sense because of the pandemic and my daughter was diagnosed with diabetes,” Charlotte said. “I didn’t feel particularly stressed at the time, but looking back it makes sense.”

Women around the world have reported hair loss as a stress symptom related to a pandemic.

Charlotte, a sales assistant who lives with her daughter Evie, 10, said she “didn’t think much about it” when she first spotted the baldness.

She said: “I noticed a small patch the size of a dime and didn’t really think about it. I have pretty thick hair so it was easy to hide if I just combed my hair and it wasn’t a huge problem.

The sales assistant first noticed a 10 pence-sized bald spot on the top of her head (pictured), but it grew in a matter of weeks.  She said baldness had an impact on her self-confidence

The sales assistant first noticed a 10 pence-sized bald spot on the top of her head (pictured), but it grew in a matter of weeks. She said the baldness had an impact on her self-confidence

Charlotte said the baldness (pictured) had left her embarrassed.  Recently, the hair has started to grow back, although it is still

Charlotte said the baldness (pictured) had left her embarrassed. Recently, the hair has started to grow back, although it is still “noticeable”

“I noticed that more of it fell out when I brushed it and that there were clumps in the tub when I washed it.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS?

It is quite normal for people to lose small amounts of hair as it grows back and on average people can lose between 50 and 100 hairs per day.

However, if people start to lose entire strands or large amounts of hair, it can be more painful and potentially a sign of something serious.

Baldness is a common cause of hair loss as people get older. According to the British Association of Dermatologists, at least half of men over the age of 50 will lose some of their hair during the aging process.

Women can also lose their hair as they age.

Other causes of hair loss of greater concern include stress, cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, weight loss, or iron deficiency.

However, most hair loss is temporary and can be expected to grow back.

Specific medical conditions that cause hair loss include alopecia, an immune system disorder; an underactive or overactive thyroid; skin disease, lichen planus, or Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer.

People should see their doctor if their hair begins to fall apart, suddenly falls out, if their scalp itches or burns, and if hair loss is causing them severe stress.

“My daughter always stressed that ‘mum was getting bald’ and that it was getting harder and harder to hide.

“A few months later it was the size of a fist, I felt like I had a huge comb and had to wear a thick headband to cover it.”

Charlotte said the baldness had left her embarrassed.

“If it had gotten worse I would have seriously considered shaving my head,” she said.

“I thought I was getting completely bald. I’m not vain and I didn’t panic because I didn’t think there was anything more serious behind it but it really affected my confidence and my self-esteem. It made me really self-aware.

“When we were able to go out again, I didn’t want to date new people or meet new people. People were really shocked when I showed it to them.

Recently, the hair has started to grow back, although it is still “visible”.

Charlotte added: “It’s started to grow back but it’s still noticeable. I’m not a vain person but the hair is really important.

“I don’t know why it suddenly started growing back, because I’m more stressed than before, but I hope it continues to grow.”

It comes as experts continue to investigate links between hair loss, Covid-19 and pandemic stress.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), Covid-induced hair loss is due to TE – a condition of loss caused by a disruption in the hair growth cycle.

TE causes a high percentage of anagen follicles (follicles that actively grow hair), entering their resting phase prematurely on the scalp

ET lasts between six and nine months before the hair returns to its normal thickness and appearance.

“It happens when more hair than normal simultaneously enters the falling (telogen) phase of the hair growth life cycle,” says AAD.

“A fever or illness can force more hair to fall out. Most people notice noticeable hair loss two to three months after having a fever or illness.

Charlotte said her daughter Evie, pictured, noticed her mother was going bald

Charlotte said her daughter Evie, pictured, noticed her mother was going bald

Charlotte was feeling less confident due to the hair loss and didn't want to date it, but hopes the hair regrowth will help her sanity.

Charlotte was feeling less confident due to the hair loss and didn’t want to date it, but hopes the hair regrowth will help her sanity.

What is telogen effluvium?

Telogen effluvium is a condition in which a person loses more hair than normal, and it can be triggered by childbirth.

It is normal for a person to be losing about 10 percent of the hair on their head at a time, as they are continuously growing to ensure that the total number of hairs remains constant.

Telogen effluvium occurs when this number reaches 30% or more and the person loses noticeable amounts of hair.

The condition occurs due to a disruption of the normal hair growth cycle. It can be triggered by childbirth, trauma or illness, stress, extreme weight loss, medications, or a skin condition affecting the scalp.

Telogen effluvium usually goes away in three to six months, but it may take longer for hair to grow back to its normal length.

Source: British Association of Dermatologists

Specialists at Belgravia Center in London have also reported an increase in cases of telogen effluvium since the start of the pandemic.

Almost two-thirds (64%) of male patients and more than a third of women (38%) diagnosed with TE at the Belgravia Center said they experienced symptoms related to Covid-19, they found the year last.

“It is quite common for ET-related hair loss to present about three months after a period of severe trauma, illness or stress, which is consistent with our findings,” said Rali Bozhinova, trichologist superintendent at the Belgravia Center. .

“The spike in diagnoses shows the extent of stress the virus places on the body, not only causing temporary TE, but also potentially exacerbating other hair loss conditions that can have lasting effects if left untreated. . “

Another expert has suggested that Covid-19 could be linked to alopecia areata, which leads to bald, coin-sized patches on the scalp.

Alopecia areata can cause total hair loss, called universal alopecia, and it can prevent hair from growing back.

In these cases, Covid-19 can trigger an autoimmune response, where the body attacks its own hair follicles, turning them off, according to trichologist Iain Sallis, who was not involved in the Chinese study.

“Covid, like many other febrile illnesses, has the ability to confuse our autoimmune system,” Sallis told MailOnline.

“Any type of shock, whether physical, emotional or psychological, can cause alopecia, so it can most definitely be classified as a possible trigger.”

There is currently a joint dermatologist effort called SECURE-DERM to examine the effects of Covid on hair loss globally.

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