BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s safe to say when the COVID-19 pandemic started nearly a year ago, we had no clue what the months ahead would hold, and we’re still learning about some of the unforeseen side effects.

Over the past year, there have been a lot of unexpected things caused by the pandemic.

“As long as I’m awake, I’m in front of the computer, and that’s not what I was expecting,” Aaron Barton, a local resident, said.

“My cats, they’re spoiled rotten. They’re so spoiled because I’m home all the time,” another resident said.

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And now you can add hair loss to the list.

“I would have never assumed that. No,” one resident said.

Dr. Robert Weiss, a board-certified dermatologist at Maryland Dermatology, said this unfortunate side effect comes from the stress and anxiety brought on by the pandemic and the chemicals our bodies release in response.

“Usually we would start to see it about two-three months after the pandemic worry began, but because it hasn’t ended, we continue to pump out these hormones from our adrenal gland and our hair keeps getting thinner and thinner,” Dr. Weiss said.

Dr. Weiss said this isn’t just a problem for men.

“A lot of my female patients are asking, ‘What can I do for this hair loss? It looks like I’ve lost 10%-20% of my hair,'” he said.

So, what can you do? Dr. Weis recommends topical treatments like Rogaine and said there are oral medications that can help.

Dr. Weiss said there will be a lag time for hair to grow back after the pandemic ends.

“Because we have all of these hair follicles that are in the resting or telogen phase and they have to go back to the anagen, or growth phase,” Dr. Weiss said.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Sean Streicher