Q: I am a 26-year-old female, and had a severe bout of flu recently. Since then I have noticed that I am losing hair drastically. I am scared I'll go bald.
A: From the description of your complaint, it is clinically highly suggestive of a diagnosis of Telogen Effluvium (TE). This condition usually occurs due to a sudden disruption in the normal hair growth cycle.
Such disruption can be caused due to several factors, for example, a crash diet program, post delivery, severe psychological stress, suffering from certain malabsorption syndromes, use of certain oral medications, an acute or chronic systemic illness. In your case, the last suspected cause looks most likely to be connected to your complaints. You have not mentioned the exact time interval between you suffering from the attack of flu and the onset of excessive hair loss, but usually the complaint of TE manifests after 8-12 weeks of the attack of illness. This mostly happens due to a transitory suspension in normal continuity of the hair growth cycle caused by the severe physical and psychological stress induced by the disease. TE in most cases is a self-limiting disorder, as majority of the sufferers recover in 3-4 months time.
However, in certain cases, complaints of excessive hair fall can continue to persist for longer periods. In these cases, my recommendations are to consult an experienced dermatologist who could carry out necessary investigations to rule out any of the other causes of excessive hair loss.
In your case, I would also suggest that you should immediately consult a dermatologist who could prescribe suitable treatment which can include topical scalp preparations together with oral supplements. You can also get significantly benefited by getting few sessions of mesotherapy or PRP treatments.
Dr Ikramullah Nasir is a specialist dermatologist and medical director at Dermacare Dubai. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to email@example.com.