Does Lyme Disease Cause Hair Loss? Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness, is the most common in the United States and is caused by bacteria that infect people and animals through bites from infected ticks. Common signs of Lyme disease include fever, headache, fatigue, muscle pain, and a characteristic rash called erythema migrans, which usually appears within a few days of an infected tick bite.
Ticks spread Lyme disease. You can get Lyme disease if a tick carrying the disease bites you. The exact number of cases in the United States isn’t known, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates more than 300,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
There are several symptoms of Lyme disease. They vary based on how early or late you receive treatment after the tick bite.
Is hair loss a symptom of Lyme disease? One of several, including fatigue, fever, skin rashes, and aches. Though hair loss is an alarming symptom of any disease or disorder (no matter how common), there’s no reason to panic if you notice clumps in your hairbrush or see telltale patches on your scalp. More often than not, hair loss and Lyme disease are related but only very rarely do they go hand-in-hand.
When a blacklegged tick carrying the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi bites you, it can infect your body with the bacterium. Lyme disease is characterized by numerous symptoms, ranging from fever and fatigue to pain in the muscles and joints, but for many people, hair loss is one of the most disconcerting symptoms.
The hair loss associated with Lyme disease is a type of alopecia areata, which means that your immune system attacks your hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Certain people are believed to have an immune response to the bacterium responsible for Lyme disease that leads to an attack on their hair follicles. As a result, your scalp or other parts of your body may appear bald or patchy.
You may notice that you experience hair loss in clumps or across your whole scalp. Or there may be patches of scaly skin on your scalp where you lose your hair. You may even see small dots at the roots of each lost strand of hair. Hair loss is usually temporary, but if untreated it can last for months or
A deer tick bite can transmit Lyme disease to humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An estimated 300,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year.
Although it’s possible to develop Lyme disease any time of year, the CDC says May through August is the peak season for ticks.
If you’re diagnosed early with Lyme disease, your doctor will likely prescribe a short course of antibiotics to kill the bacteria that causes it.
But if left untreated, Lyme disease can spread to your heart, central nervous system, and joints–causing pain and stiffness that makes it hard to move or work.
If you think you have Lyme disease, it’s essential to get tested and treated as soon as possible. Your doctor can determine if a tick bite is to blame for your hair loss by running several different tests on a sample of your blood and looking at your medical history.
Early detection is critical for protecting yourself from lasting damage caused by untreated Lyme disease.
Ask your doctor to test for Lyme disease if you’ve been treated for other causes of hair loss and nothing seems to be working. They may also be able to help you find ways to protect yourself from ticks in the future.
Treatment options include:
Antibiotics. Antibiotics are given to patients with Lyme disease as early as possible. Early treatment with oral antibiotics is typically effective in treating patients with chronic neuroborreliosis. If you have more advanced symptoms, you may require intravenous antibiotics. These medications are given in a hospital setting and can effectively treat the condition.
Pain medication. Pain medication is sometimes prescribed to patients with chronic neuroborreliosis. Over-the-counter pain relievers may help alleviate some of your pain, but if these drugs aren’t effective, your doctor may prescribe a prescription medication for you to take at home.
Physical therapy. Physical therapy may be recommended for patients who have trouble moving due to joint pain associated with chronic neuroborreliosis linked to Lyme disease. Your physical therapist will teach you how to move properly and remain active without experiencing discomfort or pain.
The Key to treating Lyme disease is getting the right diagnosis. If you’re showing Lyme disease symptoms, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. If you’re diagnosed with Lyme disease and treated early, your hair loss could be completely reversible. However, if left untreated for too long, your hair loss could become permanent.
If you are suffering from hair loss and think it may be due to Lyme disease, it’s important to get tested for the disease as quickly as possible. Your doctor can help you find the best course of action for treating the condition and preventing any further damage to your health.
If you’re wondering if your treatment is working, look for a notable difference in hair loss between your last session and today. If you’re still losing hair but at a much slower rate than before treatment began, that’s excellent news.
But if you’re still experiencing lots of hair fallout, it might be time to talk to your doctor about other options.
You don’t have to take drugs to protect yourself and your family against the hair loss and thinning that Lyme disease can cause. You don’t even have to take a lot of antibiotics. Taking supplements such as FOLITAL can protect you from hair loss and thinning due to Lyme disease.
Taking these supplements will also protect against many other illnesses. Contact your local doctor if you want to learn more about hair loss due to Lyme disease.
When you stay on corticosteroids for too long, your body stops producing its own hormones to compensate. Corticosteroids decrease the production of collagen, which is the main protein in connective tissue. Lower collagen levels can lead to a weakened immune system and hair loss.
Dr. Horowitz tells his patients to wean themselves off these medications slowly so their bodies can return to the average production of its hormones, but many patients still experience severe side effects like hair loss.
To combat this, Dr. Horowitz recommends taking certain vitamins and supplements to help slow down the hair loss and promote hair growth. “It’s important that people take biotin, vitamin D3 and fish oil,” he says. “They’re extremely important for hair growth.”
It can take up to two years for Lyme disease symptoms to show up, which means your hair loss could be from something else. Some other diseases can cause hair loss, including lupus and alopecia areata.