KEY POINTS

  • Herpes, hair fall and skin-related problems are common post-COVID symptoms for recovering patients
  • COVID lower's the body immune response, making patients more susceptible to herpes 
  • Patients can speed up the recovery from these conditions through meditation and having a protein-rich diet

COVID survivors who experience hair loss, herpes, and other skin-related problems should not worry according to doctors because such symptoms are not uncommon during the recovery phase and will subside over time.

Dr. Shashank Bansod, a dermatologist and hair transplant surgeon, said that post-COVID hair loss is most often caused by the medicines and stress a patient experiences while being treated for the virus. According to Bansod, this symptom goes away on its own, but COVID survivors can speed up the recovery phase through meditation and a protein-rich diet.

"In most of the cases, the hair loss is due to COVID-related stress and the aftermath of the heavy medicines taken during hospitalization. But this is temporary. If you experience the same for more than four months, you can consult a hair fall expert," the dermatologist told Times of India.

"You can lose up to 100 [strands of] hair per day. We call it Telogen effluvium which is temporary hair loss. I suggest a protein-rich balanced diet, yoga, meditation, and stress management stop this hair fall early."

COVID survivor Nikhita Kumar, 24, told The Indian Express that she suffered from a "copious loss of hair in the initial days of recovery." The Delhi-based student contracted COVID-19 in April and consulted with a specialist during her recovery phase to learn more about the cause of her hair loss.

“I had consulted a dermatologist who prescribed some serum. He had said it will subside in a month or two. Also, while reading online on post-Covid complications, I found out that a famous Bollywood actress too had suffered hair loss after Covid,” Kumar shared.

Some patients also reported suffering from herpes post-COVID. Although most of the patients have a history of herpes, some contracted the virus for the first time. Bansod said this is likely due to a patient's lowered immunity.

"It's due to lowered immunity. That's why we suggest eating healthy food during the recovery period of COVID-19. Herpes could be very painful," Bansod said.

Dr. D M Mahajan shared a similar opinion as Bansod's on the matter. According to Mahajan, dermatologist and senior consultant at the Apollo Hospitals in Delhi, COVID-19 compromises patients' immunity, thereby potentially causing several other complications like herpes, The Indian Express reported.

“Several Covid patients in recovery phase are facing skin complications and the most common one being reported to us are cases of herpes. In many patients with a history of herpes, it gets retriggered and in others, they are just contracting it afresh, both due to lowered immunity,” Mahajan said.

Aside from hair fall and herpes, a number of patients also experience various types of rashes. According to Bansod, this symptom occurs early in a patient's recovery phase.

"There are four to five types of rashes. The connection between COVID-19 and rashes is now well-established. Rashes can come as an early symptom of COVID-19 as well as during post-recovery phase," he said.

Facebook users were asked to take surveys on infection symptoms to gather data for a "heat map" to track the COVID-19 outbreak Facebook users were asked to take surveys on infection symptoms to gather data for a "heat map" to track the COVID-19 outbreak Photo: AFP / Olivier DOULIERY