The pandemic has taken a toll on all of us, physically and mentally. But for those who have suffered from COVID, it is a long road to recovery as it can have some long-term side effects associated with it. The post-covid period comes with its own set of problems that need to be dealt with, and this includes skin manifestations like chilblains, urticaria, rashes, and more.
Here’s Dr Ameesha Mahajan, Celebrity Dermatologist, sharing important guidelines on dealing with post-Covid skin and hair concerns.
Hairfall: When the body gets infected by COVID or any other severe disease, it gets into a lot of stress that affects the hair. Scientifically, we call it telogen effluvium, which means there is excessive shedding of the resting or telogen hair due to some shock to the body. The shedding of hair typically occurs in large clumps and is often more while combing or showering. The symptoms can occur 2-3 months later. It can be very distressing and the period of hair shedding can last upto 6-9 months. The good news is that the hair will slowly come back to the growing phase. I recommend avoiding hair oiling during this time as that can further increase hairfall of the weakened roots. Taking hair supplements and applying hair serums with peptides can accelerate the hair growth.
Skin dryness: Experiencing extreme dryness is very common. The skin can feel rough and may even peel off. Make sure to use a gentle soap/cleanser followed by thick moisturising creams at least 2-3 times a day to relieve the symptoms. Dry skin can also get very itchy but the best treatment remains the use of thick creams followed by oil application to seal in the moisture. Stay away from anti-bacterial soaps and cleansers as they can be very harsh to the skin.
Acne/Rosacea: It is common to see flaring up of acne or rosacea post illness. It is best to get back to your anti-acne medication once your symptoms are better. If possible, continue with your anti-acne medications that you apply topically even though you will be skipping the ones you take orally.
Skin darkening: This is a common side effect post viral infections and usually subsides on its own. Use of moisturiser and mild depigmenting creams can help in improving the skin tone faster. But overall, the immediate darkening will improve on its own within days to months. Taking foods rich in antioxidants and skin supplements also helps. Severe pigmentation can be related to medicines had during the infection and should be treated under a dermatologist’s guidance.