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Swine Flu Outbreak in India Linked to Hair Loss in Survivors

Survivors of a deadly Swine Flu outbreak in India have reported hair loss as a side effect of the disease.

According to researchers Swine Flu (H1N1) has been known to trigger autoimmune conditions – such as Alopecia – in a number of patients. The condition is caused by the immune system weakening a person’s hair follicles, resulting in patchy hair loss.

Symptoms of Swine Flu According to the World Health Organization - 2009Increase in cases of hair loss

Rarely seen in India until last year, the increased levels of Alopecia Areata are thought to stem from the recent outbreak of Swine Flu in the area. Nagesh Bhatt from Navrangpura and Usha Shah from Chandkheda had been on a strict weight loss regime in the months before contracting the illness. It is thought that this crash diet made them susceptible to the disease – as well as their later hairloss.

Dr Smita Nagpal, a dermatologist and cosmetologist, explained, “Since a Swine flu patient’s body goes through a lot of stress, overall hair quality goes for a toss. This can happen in other viral infections too.

Dr Nagpal recommended that patients consider increasing their levels of iron and intake of vitamins through their diet to counteract this effect.

Flu and hair loss

A team of researchers from Hamamatsu University School of Medicine in Japan previously warned sufferers of the link between Swine Flu and hair loss following a study of seven individuals who reported thinning hair within months of catching the flu.

Kuldeep Singh Rohria, consultant dermatologist, also commented, “Hair fall is part and parcel of weakened immunity that causes flu. Whatever causes weakened immunity like heavy dieting eventually leads to serious hair fall. When you restrict yourself to small amounts of food in order to lose weight, you’re at higher risk of developing flu and hair loss.

Treating alopecia areata

Whilst a healthy diet is always important to maintain good scalp and hair condition, it will not cure hair loss unless the shedding is a result of a particular vitamin or mineral deficiency.

If you are experiencing patchy hair loss, you should seek professional help at the earliest opportunity in order to receive a full diagnosis and advice on how to deal with your hair loss condition.

There are treatments for alopecia areata available and a hair loss expert will be able to recommend the most effective, personalised treatment plan for your regrowth needs. Many Belgravia clients with Alopecia have seen significant regrowth from following treatment courses featuring bespoke minoxidil preparations, formulated exclusively for our patients at our in-clinic pharmacies. You can find photographic examples of some of these Alopecia Areata treatment results, alongside each client’s comments and the time it took for them to achieve these levels of regrowth, in our Hair Loss Success Stories.

For more information on Alopecia Areata, high strength minoxidil or to book your free hair loss consultation, please call our clinics on 020 7730 6666 or send us a message.


The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss ClinicThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


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