28. Alopecia and Coronavirus

Since all Virginia schools closed a few weeks ago I’ve joined the ranks of the rest of us in working from home.  Like everyone else, I too have worried about getting Coronavirus, especially because I have an autoimmune disease.  Toward that end I’ve consulted my contact at Columbia, and have read more about the issue at naaf.org, and have some information I feel compelled to impart.

  1. Alopecian’s immune systems are over active, meaning we’re like superheroes. We’re at an evolutionary advantage because of this strength, and at a particularly fantastic advantage now in the midst of this pandemic.  Who ever thought it’d be awesome to have alopecia?  I’m not going to be that person who doesn’t wash her hands, or sneezes into the wind, or doesn’t cover her cough, but given this information, and also just because I’m not the kind of person to do so, I’m not going to freak out because I have an autoimmune disease.  I haven’t had any symptoms, and continue to live my life, exercising, working, socializing (remotely and maintaining distance) as I did before these unprecedented times.


  1. Xeljanz (or Tofacitinib, the drug I’ve been taking to regrow my hair) may actually be serving as a second protective factor. Though it’s an immunosuppressant, Tofacitinib is part of a class of drugs that’s being used in clinical approaches to help those with Covid-19 find relief from their symptoms.  The drug is also quickly metabolized, within three hours of being ingested, so adverse effects on my immune system aren’t significant.

I’m not a doctor or a researcher, but I trust the sources and the logic behind this information.  Use your best judgement, and be smart about your health, but also ensure you’re working to keep the anxiety that’s so easily felt these days in its place.


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