Alopecia in patients with COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Betty Nguyen, Antonella Tosti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: COVID-19 is associated with androgenetic alopecia (AGA), telogen effluvium (TE), and alopecia areata (AA). No studies have analyzed the aggregate data to date. Objective: We conducted a systematic review to characterize the types, incidence, timing, and clinical outcomes of COVID-19–associated alopecia. Methods: We searched PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, and Embase for articles published between November 2019 and August 2021 using the key words “alopecia” or “hair” and COVID-19–related search terms, identifying 41 original articles describing patients with alopecia and COVID-19. Results: The current review included 1826 patients with alopecia and COVID-19 (mean age, 54.5 years; 54.3% male). The most common types of alopecia identified were AGA (30.7%, 86.4% male), TE (19.8%, 19.3% male), and AA (7.8%, 40.0% male). AGA preceded COVID-19 symptoms. TE was usually newly triggered by COVID-19 (93.6%). AA usually occurred in patients with preexisting disease (95.1%). Limitations: Definitions of COVID-19 onset varied. Studies differed in methodology and were susceptible to reporting and sampling bias. Studies with large sample sizes may exert a disproportionate influence on data. Conclusion: AGA may be a risk factor for severe COVID-19, whereas TE presents as a sequela of COVID-19. AA generally occurs as a relapse in patients with preexisting alopecia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-77
Number of pages11
JournalJAAD International
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • alopecia
  • alopecia areata
  • anagen effluvium
  • androgenetic alopecia
  • coronavirus disease 2019
  • COVID-19
  • hair loss
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • telogen effluvium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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