At this time of year, many of us can expect to get a little ill with a cold or a sore throat, or if we’re particularly unfortunate the flu. But what may be less expected in the New Year is hair loss as a result of contracting the illness.
That is however exactly what a team of Japanese dermatologists say can happen following a bout of swine flu. The team from Hamamatsu University School of Medicine say that they have found a link between the disease and hair loss, following their studies on seven people who began losing hair within months of suffering from the flu.
While the sample size studied by the team is relatively small, their conclusions fit with accepted known facts about the hair loss condition Alopecia Areata, which are that it can be triggered by a particularly severe or prolonged period of illness.
The research, which took place between 2009 and 2010, found that the seven people, four of whom had previously suffered from Alopecia, suffered hair loss between one and a half months and three months after recovering from swine flu. All of those who experienced subsequent hair loss suffered from a fever while ill.
Nannette Silverberg, the director of pediatric and adolescent dermatology at a New York hospital told Fox News that the results of the study were, “very plausible,” and that people who have suffered from Alopecia Areata before should think about getting a vaccination against the H1N1 swine flu virus.
What is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia Areata is an auto-immune disorder in which the body’s own natural defences mistake the hair follicles as foreign bodies, and so attack them. This results in the follicles becoming damaged or even destroyed, leading to the cessation of hair growth, and hair shedding. In many cases this is confined to patchy hair loss on the scalp, but it can progress to result in total baldness (Alopecia Totalis) of the scalp, or even the loss of all hair on the body (Alopecia Universalis).
The exact causes of Alopecia remain unknown but it is widely thought to be caused by stress, trauma and by severe illness, as this recent study shows. In many cases the condition is only temporary and the hair loss corrects itself naturally, but sometimes it can persist for longer, and even become permanent.
Help for hair loss in winter’s wonderland
If you’ve suffered from the flu or another severe illness or viral attack this winter, and have later noticed hair loss, then it may well be Alopecia Areata. Your first step should be to seek diagnosis from a GP or dermatologist. If you then need further help to re-grow your hair then The Belgravia Centre can help.
Our hair loss experts have dealt with many cases of Alopecia Areata, as well as other hair loss conditions such as Male Pattern Baldness, Female Pattern Hair Loss and Alopecia Areata. We can work with you to identify and wherever possible negate the root cause of the hair loss, and then carry out a range of hair loss treatments to restore your hair to full health. View our collection of Hair Loss Success Stories to get an idea of the kind of results achieved by so many of Belgravia’s hair loss treatment users.
To find out more, contact us for a free consultation with no obligation, or fill in our online diagnostic form to receive a home use treatment programme that can be sent to you anywhere in the world whether it be winter or summer in your part of the world.