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The Little-Known Covid Side-Effect That Could Affect Your Next Hair Appointment

The Little-Known Covid Side-Effect That Could Affect Your Next Hair Appointment

One side effect of Covid could affect your skin and hair.

An actress has opened up about the shocking side-effect she has experienced while recovering from covid-19.

Luther star Sienna Guillroy told her Instagram followers to do allergy patch tests after testing positive for covid.

Sharing a photo of the blemishes that had developed across her hairline, Sienna shared that exposure to the virus can make skin and hair more sensitive to certain products.

Sienna Guillroy has experienced allergic reactions since testing positive for Covid.(

She captioned the post: "Just a heads up to follow new NHS guidelines post covid and do allergy patch tests; exposure can make you more sensitive to things you were previously okay with, like hair products and dyes or skincare.

"I am absolutely fine 🙏 thanks to good medical advice (antihistamine, aloe Vera leaf goop, petroleum jelly for burns)."

The BBC reported back in September 2021 that scientists at Imperial College London have been researching how covid could be reprogramming our immune system.

After anecdotal evidence suggested that hairdresser's clients were suddenly having painful reactions to hair dye after recovering from covid, the National Hair & Beauty Federation has encouraged salons across the country to carry out patch tests on all customers.

While not a lot is known about this symptom, we've spoken to some medical experts to get to the bottom of what might be causing this irritation, and how best to treat it.


Why would covid cause skin or hair allergic reactions?

Speaking to Tyla about the little-known side-effect, lead pharmacist of digital pharmacy Giulia Guerrini said: “Reports of people experiencing changes in allergic reactions after contracting covid-19 have emerged in recent months, with products such as hair dye at the forefront of the discussion.

 “While research is in its infancy stages and definitive answers are yet to be found, one cause behind this might be the changes that covid-19 makes to the body’s immune response. Contracting an illness (covid-19 or otherwise) can change the body’s future responses to what it perceives as an unknown or harmful substance. This could explain people experiencing newfound allergic reactions to hair dye and other products after contracting COVID-19 due to the skin perceiving hair dye as an unfamiliar and dangerous substance.

“If you’re experiencing a new allergic reaction, even if it’s a reaction to a product you have already used, or if you’re experiencing any unusual symptoms, stop using that particular product and speak to your GP or local pharmacist as soon as possible so that they can advise you on your next steps."

anecdotal evidence suggested that hairdresser's clients were suddenly having painful reactions to hair dye. (

What are some safe remedies for skin irritation?

Dr Hussain Abdeh of medicinedirect told Tyla that there are a number of steps you can take.

"If your skin is irritated, it is important to keep it hydrated", he said.

"Using a gentle fragrance-free moisturiser can help to relieve irritation and soothe dry, cracked, or broken skin. Cooling agents like menthol can aid in soothing and cooling the skin, which can calm down any irritation.

"Gentle cleaning products that contain no perfume or fragrance should be used if you have irritated skin. If even gentle products are too much, just use lukewarm water to clean yourself."

A cold compress, or natural aloe vera gel could also be very effective.

When is it time to seek medical attention?

Dr Hussain says: "

If you develop an unexplained skin rash that is swollen, bleeding or painful, you should always get this checked out by a doctor. Similarly, if you have a skin rash that does not go away after a few days, this should also be checked by a medical professional.

"If your skin is persistently sensitive to or irritated by cosmetic products, you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist about this. They will be able to either recommend gentler skincare products or get to the bottom of why you may be experiencing sensitivity.”

Other little known symptoms associated with coronavirus have included a racing heart, night sweats, and ear aches.

Featured Image Credit: Pexels

Topics: Health, Coronavirus