Does Lupus Cause Hair Loss
Someone who has lupus might shed their hair more than whats considered normal . They might notice their hair shedding when washing or brushing them. It isnt true that everyone with lupus experiences hair loss. Lupus hair loss can affect many people who have the disease. They might notice their hair thinning all over the scalp or in one area, such as the hairline.
Depending on the reason for the hair loss, it may be reversible or irreversible. Lupus hair loss due to inflammation is reversible. It is non-scarring, so the person is able to grow their hair back. It isnt necessary that lupus hair loss only occurs on the scalp, but it can also cause hair loss in the eyebrows, eyelashes and beards in males. The other type of lupus hair loss is irreversible. The person may permanently lose their hair as a result of permanent, scarring lesions that can develop on the scalp.
Since lupus affects the skin, it affects the hair as well. Even the medications prescribed for lupus can cause hair loss. The person may experience hair loss in different areas of the scalp.
Hair Loss Due To The Intake Of Medicines:
Some medical conditions and their treatments may be a reason of hair loss. Diabetes, lupus, cancer are some of the examples. Hair loss is one of the best known side effects of cancer treatment.
The medicines youre taking could also impact the thickness of your hair and the health of your hair follicles. Additionally, hair shedding can be a side-effect of high vitamin A doses, antibiotics, antifungals, acne medication, weight loss drugs, and more.
It can then be useful to support the hair follicles with a hair growth & fix therapy treatment, which contains nutrients such as minerals, vitamins and fatty acids for the hair follicles.
Lupus: Can It Cause Hair Loss
Unfortunately, yes. Lupus causes widespread inflammation that usually involves your skinparticularly on your face and scalp. Lupus can cause the hair on your scalp to gradually thin out, although a few people lose clumps of hair. Loss of eyebrow, eyelash, beard, and body hair also is possible.
In most cases, your hair will grow back when your lupus is treated. But some people with lupus develop round lesions on the scalp. Because these discoid lesions scar your hair follicles, they do cause permanent hair loss.
Lupus can also cause the scalp hair along your hairline to become fragile and break off easily, leaving you with a ragged appearance known as lupus hair.
Hair loss may be an early sign of lupus, before the disease is diagnosed. But many other disorders can cause hair loss, so consult with your doctor if you notice unusual hair thinning or hair loss.
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Chronic Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus / Discoid Lupus Erythematosus
Chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus is usually diagnosed when someone exhibits signs of lupus in the skin. People with SLE can also have discoid lesions, and about 5% of all people with DLE will develop SLE later in life. A skin biopsy is used to diagnose this condition, and the lesions have a characteristic pattern known to clinicians: they are thick and scaly, plug the hair follicles, appear usually on surfaces of the skin exposed to sun , tend to scar, and usually do not itch.
If you are diagnosed with discoid lupus, you should try to avoid sun exposure when possible and wear sunscreen with Helioplex and an SPF of 70 or higher. In addition, you doctor may prescribe medications to help prevent and curb inflammation, including steroid ointments, pills, or injections , antimalarial medications such as Plaquenil, and/or immunosuppressive medications.
Acute Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus
Most people with ACLE have active SLE with skin inflammation, and ACLE lesions are found in about half of all people with SLE at some point during the course of the disease. The lesions characteristic of ACLE usually occur in areas exposed to the sun and can be triggered by sun exposure. Therefore, it is very important that people with ACLE wear sunscreen and protective clothing when going outdoors.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lupus
There are a wide variety of symptoms you might experience if you have lupus. Not everyone with lupus will have the same set of symptoms. Also, many of these symptoms overlap with what you could experience with other medical conditions. This is one of the difficulties in diagnosing someone with lupus.
The symptoms of lupus can be slow to develop. You may notice new symptoms over time. The severity of your symptoms can also change over time. Sometimes symptoms may barely be present , while other times they could flare up. A flare-up is when a symptom is suddenly more severe than before.
Symptoms of lupus can include:
How Is Lupus Diagnosed And Treated
Diagnosing lupus is problematic because its symptoms overlap with those of other diseases. Your doctor may diagnose that you have lupus by asking you about your medical history. They will also ask if there is another person in your family who has lupus or any other autoimmune disease. Since the disease results in an abnormal production of autoantibodies, the doctor might ask you to take blood and urine tests. Skin or kidney biopsy might also be needed. Other than that, the doctor will look for other symptoms of lupus on your body, such as rashes.
There is no cure for lupus. A person who has lupus can get a treatment that improves the symptoms of the disease. It may help reduce swelling and pain resulting from lupus, prevent flareups, and reduce the damage your organs are incurring due to the immune systems response. To prescribe any treatment, the doctor will learn more about your symptoms.
Depending on how severe they are, medicine is prescribed. It is possible that your symptoms of lupus change over time. Your doctor will then readjust your medications according to the symptoms that you are experiencing. Medications for treatments of lupus include corticosteroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , immunosuppressants, and biologics.
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Preventing Hair Loss From Lupus Medications
Subacute Cutaneous Erythematosus Or Skin Lupus
Rashes on the skin can cause the hair to fall out. If the hair loss is not treated aggressively the disease can sometimes cause round, thick, scaly lesions on the scalp called discoids or Discoid Lupus Erythematosus. In these cases, the discoids cause scar tissue to form on the hair follicles, which can lead to permanent hair loss. Early and aggressive treatment of hair loss in patients with Discoid Lupus Erythematosus can often lead to some degree of hair regrowth.
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Central Nervous System Involvement
Lupus can affect almost any part of your body, but not everyone realizes this can include the central nervous system and the brain. Doctors may refer to lupus with CNS involvement as neuropsychiatric lupus , neurocognitive dysfunction or central nervous system lupus . When lupus affects the CNS and the brain, it can cause symptoms such as headaches, confusion, fatigue, depression, seizures, strokes, vision problems, mood swings and difficulty concentrating.
Some medications used to treat lupus can also cause side effects that are similar to the symptoms of CNS lupus, so its important to follow up with your doctor to determine the root cause of your symptoms.
Central nervous system involvement. I not only have migraines, seizures, myoclonic tremors, but lupus took away my ability to walk. But with high dose steroids and physical therapy I went from wheelchair to walker to cane and now able to walk on my own with bad days in between. Gabrielle S.
Seizures are something you dont hear about. I havent been diagnosed with them, but I can almost feel them coming from the fatigue. Its a real possibility especially for those who are trying to work and make a life for themselves. My doctor says Im at risk for seizures. I get horrible headaches that have me shaking if I dont stop what Im doing and go to sleep. Raine W.
Hair Styles And Accessories
Finally, MyLupusTeam members experiencing hair loss have shared ways theyve adapted their physical appearance.
- Wearing hair in a new style can cover areas of hair loss. I wear my hair very short. That has helped, one member reported.
- Hair extensions or wigs can cover more severe hair loss. One member recommended Raquel Welch line, with choices that are natural, lightweight, and comfortable, great styles and colors.
- Head coverings, including scarves and hats, can provide useful sun protection while also covering up hair loss. Just got back from shopping. I got two scarves and two hats. That’ll do when I am not able to do anything with the hair I have left, wrote a member.
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Medical Related Hair Loss
Hair loss can be a symptom of various illnesses including thyroid disorder, lupus, and alopecia areata, and a side effect of medicines such as those used in cancer chemotherapy. Oftentimes, hair will grow back if you stop taking the medication at fault. Certain types of medical hair loss can be remedied through the use of natural ingredients, such as those in Zenagen products.
There are more causes of hair loss that can be more nuanced that we will discuss throughout the month!
Diagram showing the hair follicle with DHT blockage. Once DHT starts to build up, it becomes more difficult for thicker, fuller hair to grow.
Skin Rashes And Lesions
While many people often associate lupus with the facial butterfly rash, the reality is lupus can cause a variety of skin rashes and lesions, most of which appear on sun-exposed areas like the face, ears, neck, arms and legs. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, 66 percent of people with lupus develop some sort of skin disease.
There are three main types of cutaneous lupus:
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Microcirculation Lupus Hair Loss Treatment
Poor blood flow in your scalp can make your Lupus hair loss worse. This can be caused by stress because our muscles constrict, restricting blood flow. Plus, inflammation makes it more difficult for blood to flow as well.
So, who doesnt love a scalp massage as a Lupus hair loss treatment?!
Our bodies are inflamed and need some extra TLC to get fluids moving and blood flowing. If blood isnt properly flowing and messages from our nerves are not being transmitted making our body happy to let us know aka we experience symptoms.
This is also a two-fold resolution.
First, this can be something your supportive partner does for you before bed.
Its relaxing, it makes them feel like theyre doing something that helps, and it brings happy chemicals to our brain as we bond with our partner.
Second, it feels so good and Lupus and hair loss doesnt. Need I say more?!
How Can I Prevent Hair Loss
Hair loss caused by medical conditions such as alopecia Universalis or hereditary hair loss when you have a family history of balding is hardly avoidable. Thats bad news.
But the good news is that female hair loss or male pattern baldness caused by low maintenance is reversible. Hair grows back after proper treatment with careful care. Everything you need to do is simply to avoid signs of damaged hair such as dryness and brittle hair:
- A healthy diet: make sure you provide enough nutrients to your body. Supplement your body with minerals and vitamins such as vitamin B or vitamin H.
- Dont worry too much or get stressed.
- Wash your hair up to 3 times a week with a shampoo made for oily hair, to reduce oil production.
- Limit smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Avoid staying up late.
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Six Autoimmune Diseases That Cause Hair Loss
Learn about these conditions, including lupus and Hashimoto’s.
Hair loss is one of the most dreaded conditions, and it affects a whopping 25 percent of women and 50 percent of men over the age of 50. But it isn’t merely age-related. In fact, hair loss can be the result of several different factors, including genetics, hormones, medications, and general lifestyle choices. Most life stressors, including illness, emotional trauma, protein deprivation , and hormonal changes like those in pregnancy, puberty, and menopause may cause hair loss, according to Sapna Palep, M.D., a dermatologist at Spring Street Dermatology in New York City.
One of the most common culprits behind hair loss, especially when it happens before age 50, is autoimmune disease, which affects somewhere between 14.7 and 23.5 million Americans to date, according to The Autoimmune Registry. With these types of conditions, one’s immune system mistakenly attacks the bodyand one of the most common side effects, along with a slew of others, is hair loss. “Similar to the situation in extreme dieting and stress, the body shuts down hair growth to preserve energy,” explains Dominic Burg, hair trichologist and Chief Scientist for Evolis Professional. Here, a look at some of the most common autoimmune diseases that cause hair loss, explained by the experts who treat them.
Cold Blue Or Pale Hands Or Feet
Some people with lupus experience Raynauds phenomenon, which affects the blood vessels in the fingers, toes, hands, or feet.
Raynauds phenomenon makes the blood vessels in the extremities constrict, which turns the extremities blue or pale, as well as causing tingling, numbness, and pain.
A person may notice this reaction when they are in cold temperatures or under stress.
A person may be able to manage their Raynauds symptoms by avoiding cold temperatures, dressing warmly in gloves, socks, and boots, and using stress management techniques, such as meditation and relaxation.
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