According to the Lupus Foundation of America, an estimated 5 million people worldwide have the condition. In this blog, we examine its links with hair loss.
What is Lupus?
Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease. It occurs when the body’s immune system, which usually protects us from illness, erroneously attacks the tissues and organs. This results in inflammation which can lead to serious health complications.
Like many other autoimmune disorders, the causes of lupus are not fully understood. However, it is likely to be related to genetics and can be triggered by medication, viral infections and exposure to sunlight. Although it can affect anyone, lupus is most common in African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian-Americans. It is usually diagnosed in women between the ages of 15 and 45.
Does Lupus Cause Hair Loss?
A common symptom experienced by lupus sufferers is hair loss. In an article titled “Hair loss in autoimmune systemic diseases” by A. Parodi and E. Cozzani, the authors identified two different causes of hair loss related to this condition, non-scarring and scarring.
Non-scarring hair loss can result from inflammation, as well as the medications used to treat lupus. It can affect hair on the scalp, as well as eyelashes, eyebrows and beard. Another type of non-scarring hair loss that is frequently seen in people with lupus is dryness and breakage around the frontal hairline.
Scarring hair loss occurs as a result of the discoid lesions that develop in some lupus sufferers. These sores can develop anywhere on the body and can result in hair loss and permanent damage to the hair follicles.
Treating Hair Loss Caused by Lupus
When dealing with hair loss caused by lupus, the main priority is to get the disease under control using the appropriate medication. When hair loss is non-scarring, hair growth usually returns to normal as the lupus medication does its work. If brittleness is a concern, treating hair gently and using nourishing care products is beneficial in improving condition. For those who have developed permanent hair loss due to follicle damage, one option for treatment is Vinci Hair Clinic’s Micro Scalp Pigmentation. This non-surgical technique is a skilled application of pigment to the scalp to camouflage areas of hair loss. You can learn more about these treatments by arranging a free consultation at a Vinci Hair Clinic location near you.