Before we try to unravel the truth behind the claim that dengue fever causes hair loss, we need to make sure we understand dengue in its entirety.
Dengue fever is a viral disease caused by the dengue virus, which is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito.
Dengue causes sudden onset of fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle pain, joint pain, rash, and mild bleeding. Symptoms typically begin 3-14 days after infection.
Transfer of dengue virus from a person infected with dengue to an uninfected person is called secondary transmission. It can happen through the actual physical presence of the infected person or objects that have been contaminated with the dengue virus, such as used bed linens or clothes.
If the patient's platelet count is lower than 200,000/mm³ due to dengue, they will be admitted to the hospital for close monitoring.
Severe dengue fever can be a life-threatening emergency as your blood vessels become damaged and leaky. The number of clot-forming cells in your bloodstream also drops and this can lead to internal bleeding, organ failure, shock and even death.
Does Dengue Fever Cause Hair Loss?
Many people recovering from a severe form of dengue fever often complain of excessive hair fall. This type of hair loss typically lasts up to 2 months after acute dengue infection. A few people affected with dengue also develop alopecia because of the medications, metabolic or hormonal stress and even due to severe systemic infections.
The hair loss from dengue fever usually grows back but it can take 6-9 months unless some other type of hair loss aggravates your condition. The hair shedding from dengue eventually stops on its own. However, you can follow some home remedies to speed up your recovery process. This will eventually help in hair regrowth as well.
- The platelet count drops down when you are suffering from dengue, so it is important to replenish those lost platelets during the recovery period. Papaya leaf juice is a great remedy to increase platelet count. You just need to crush a few papaya leaves and extract the juice out of them. You can consume a small quantity of the juice twice a day for better results.
- Using fenugreek seeds for your recovery is another easy home remedy as fenugreek seeds are a rich source of nutrients that can help in recovering from dengue fever. Soak some fenugreek seeds in a hot cup of water and allow the water to cool down and then drink it twice every day. Fenugreek water can provide many health benefits including hair growth because it is rich in Vitamin C, K and fiber.
- Giloy juice is a popular home remedy for dengue fever. Giloy juice improves metabolism and promotes immunity. Strong immunity speeds up the healing process and increases the platelet count. You can just boil two small stems of a giloy plant in a glass of water and consume it twice everyday.
How to Avoid Dengue At Home?
Dengue is also known as 'Break Bone Fever' because of the severe joint pain it is associated with. However, the symptoms of dengue fever are extremely varied and range from mild to life-threatening.
The common symptoms of dengue fever are usually high with sudden onset. The most common symptoms are high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, with rashes appearing mostly on palms, soles and face.
To prevent getting infected with dengue, you can take some preventive measures:
- Mosquito Repellent
One of the most effective and efficient ways to prevent dengue fever is to use mosquito repellent creams. These creams might react badly to sensitive skin, therefore it is important to perform a patch test first. Mosquito patches can be placed on the back of clothing as they last upto 3 days and are usually non-toxic. Mosquito wipes are also another great option for kids and are a lot less messy than creams.
- Mosquito Deterrents
While cleaning your house, you can use cleaning solutions and other deterrents that can prevent dengue mosquitoes from entering your house. This includes all the electronic vapourisers and lemongrass water to clean floors. Make sure to use insecticide-treated bed nets while sleeping and ensure that your windows are sealed so as to prevent mosquitoes from entering your bedroom. Another way to restrict mosquitoes from entering your house is to stick cloves in lemons and oranges. Place these on a plate in your room and bid mosquitoes goodbye!
- Protective Clothing Hacks
During the mosquito season, it is of utmost importance to sleep in rooms with air-conditioning and windows covered with mosquito nets. Also, make sure to wear long sleeves and long pants that can cover your skin as much as possible. The less exposed skin you have, the lower your chances of suffering from dengue. It is also advisable to wear light-coloured clothes as this usually repels mosquitoes.
Dengue fever usually does not lead to hair loss, however, in some rare cases, people have complained of hair fall while recovering from dengue. There could be many underlying causes of your hair loss but it is important to consult your healthcare professional before you try to fight against your condition using OTC medications.