The short answer is yes, lupus can cause hair loss. Lupus, while a condition with a number of symptoms, causes widespread inflammation. Alopecia, or hair loss, is one of the symptoms of lupus, effecting up to 45 percent of individuals diagnosed with the disease. Hair loss is often one of the early symptoms of lupus.
There are two forms of hair loss associated with lupus, scarring and non-scarring. Since the skin is affected by lupus, this means the face and scalp, which can result in not only the loss of hair on the scalp, but also on the face (eyebrow, beard, eyelash) and body.
Understanding Lupus Related Hair Loss
It is important to begin by realizing some hair loss is normal. Seeing a few stray hairs on your brush, or in the sink or bathtub is not cause for alarm. Normally, humans lose between 50 and 150 strands of hair per day. You hair follicles are in a continual cycle of growth, resting, and shedding, with approximately 90 percent in the growing phase and the remainder in the resting/shedding phase. New hair grows once hair is shed, continually starting the cycle.
With lupus, hair loss can be related to the condition or the treatment for it. Plus, individuals with lupus can experience hair loss for other reasons, similar to those which affect people without a lupus diagnosis.
In systemic lupus, hair loss is associated with the autoimmune foundation of the condition, and is often localized. In most cases, hair loss ue to systemic lupus will grow back as the lupus is treated. In the case of discoid lupus erythematosus or subacute cutaneous lupus, scarring alopecia may result. In these instances, the lupus causes permanent damage to the hair follicle meaning permanent hair loss. This can also result when prednisone and immunosuppressive drugs are used to treat the lupus.
Diagnosing Lupus Related Hair Loss
If you are experiencing hair loss, but don’t know the cause, it is crucial to get an accurate diagnosis. If your hair loss is related to a diagnosis of lupus, or an associated flare, remember that in most cases your hair will grow back. There are also a number of non-lupus causes for hair loss, from thyroid disorders to infections to nutritional deficiencies, so getting the appropriate diagnosis is needed.
While hair loss from lupus can be permanent, this is not always the case. Whether your hair will grow back depends on the reason for the loss. Often once your lupus is treated, your hair will return. If your hair loss is related to medications used to treat your lupus, your physician can advise if changing your treatment will help.
New Image Can Help with Lupus Related Hair Loss
In many cases, when your lupus is treated and under control, your hair loss will be as well. If the treating medication is causing your hair loss, once your lupus is controlled, you may be able to taper off the medication and help your hair loss.
Though hair loss is not the most concerning symptom of lupus, it can be quite frustrating. In the case of reversible hair loss, New Image has many solutions such as Graduated enhancements procedures, Laser light hair therapy treatments, wigs, hair extensions, specialty hair care products and iHair procedures for women. Contact New Image Hair Clinic today to request your FREE consultation. Together we can develop the ideal solution for you, whether your condition is temporary or permanent.