The COVID-19 virus unexpectedly became contributory to the development of the science behind male pattern baldness. Over the years, most men and researchers have been more concerned about how to manage baldness and its cosmetic repercussions. Recent medical findings however point out that more than its effects on physical appearance, baldness may be an indicator of how a person can be more susceptible to the complications of the coronavirus.
The Study was conducted in select hospitals in Spain and involved caucasian men who were confined for the coronavirus. It claims that men with Androgenetic alopecia (AGA), also known as male pattern baldness,” are more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 complications.
According to the doctors who conducted the study, the initial findings show that androgen, defined as the hormones that regulate and determine the maleness of a person, is linked to the vulnerability of people in contracting the COVID-19 virus. Having excessive male hormones often manifests physically through excessive facial and body hair, acne, and male pattern baldness.
Dr. Carlos Wambier, a professor of dermatology at Brown University and one of the study’s authors, further explains: “if the androgen receptor is hyperactive in an individual, that person will have more of a protease enzyme called TMPRSS2 in their cell surface, too — and we’ve seen in early studies in the wake of novel coronavirus that TMPRSS2 is key to SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
The doctors find the relevance of conducting further studies based on their initial findings because aside from providing us with an idea of who is more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus, pursuing the study can also provide more leads on the available medications that can be used to manage the effects of the virus.
According to the study’s abstract, “if AGA is confirmed as a risk factor for increased severity of COVID‐19 infection, then we could hypothesize that anti‐androgen therapy may reduce the risk of developing severe symptoms following COVID‐19 infection.” The US FDA has approved the use of nitric oxide as one of the treatments for COVID-19. In the same study, the following accessible anti-androgen drugs were identified and enumerated: “anti‐androgen drugs could be employed, such as finasteride, dutasteride, spironolactone, enzalutamide, and possibly cannabidiol.”
Aside from male pattern baldness, men who suffer from prostate cancer are also more susceptible to contracting the coronavirus. This is because they also have an excessive TMPRSS2 enzyme which serves as a key to opening the body to COVID-19 infection.
Following the findings of the study, some women may also be more susceptible to the coronavirus. While women in general have lesser traces of male hormones in their body, those who experience hormonal imbalance due to Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may also have high levels of androgen and the TMPRSS2 enzyme.
As a precautionary measure, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) emphasizes that social distancing is still the top method to prevent the spread and contracting of the coronavirus. If there is no important reason for people to go out, it’s advised that people just stay indoors. Proper methods of social distancing include staying about six feet away from another person and wearing face masks when going out.
Suffering from male pattern baldness is bad enough for most guys, contracting the coronavirus is much more severe and incomparable in terms of its effects in the lives not only of bald men, but also of the people around them. While the study is still being vetted by the scientific community, its initial results are good enough to serve as warning for bald men, men suffering from prostate cancer, and women suffering from PCOS to be extra careful since the coronavirus has not completely been annihilated.