Alopecia is a severe form of hair loss that often occurs involuntarily in someone at a given stage of their life. It doesn't have to necessarily be associated with old age, it can occur at even the youngest of ages. Although alopecia can occur anywhere on the body, it is most distressing when it affects the scalp. It can range from a small bare patch, which is easily masked by hairstyling to a more diffuse and obvious pattern. In 1-2% of cases, the condition can spread to the entire scalp (Alopecia totalis) or to the entire epidermis (Alopecia universalis). Some people may lose more hair. Rarely, the disease causes total loss of hair on the head or complete loss of hair on the head, face, and body. Alopecia crop up particularly on the area of the head and hair of this part is almost defected by the disease.

Types of Alopecia

There are many subtypes of Alopecia including: Androgenetic Alopecia, Alopecia Areata, Traction Alopecia, Alopecia Universalis and so on. Some are explained below:

1. Alopecia Areata : This type of alopecia is rather unstable because sometimes the hair will grow back again even without medical attention, while in other cases the hair loss is permanent and may even progress further. In alopecia areata, the immune system attacks the hair follicles. Alopecia areata is unpredictable and patients usually present with several episodes of hair loss and regrowth during their lifetime. Recovery from hair loss may be complete, partial, or nonexistent.

2. Androgenic Alopecia : This type of alopecia is characterised by progressive, patterned hair loss from the scalp and its prerequisites are a genetic predisposition and sufficient circulating androgens. It is attributed to the overproduction of the androgenic hormone called testosterone which usually is produced in large quantities in male bodies but not to a very significant degree in women under normal conditions.

3. Telogen Effluvium : Telogen effluvium is also called temporary hair loss. Telogen effluvium is an abnormality of hair cycling, which results in excessive loss of telogen (resting phase of hair cycles) hairs and is most common in women.

4. Androgenetic Alopecia : Androgenetic alopecia is the type of alopecia that is considered hereditary. It is also known as male pattern baldness, although it can also affect women. In androgenetic alopecia, the hair on the scalp turns nearly transparent before falling off.

5. Traction Alopecia : When a person is prone to pulling too much at his or her hair due to styling perhaps or personal habits, the excessive pulling can discourage the hair follicles to stop developing new cells for new hair. The shedding that occurs as a result is called traction alopecia.

Causes and Risk Factors

Alopecia tends to occur most often in children and young adults. However, it can also affect older individuals. Alopecia can certainly be the cause of psychological stress. Genetic factors seem to play an important role since there is a higher frequency of a family. There are several different hypotheses as to what causes alopecia areata. In alopecia areata, the immune system attacks the hair follicles. For people whose genes put them at risk for the disease, some type of trigger starts the attack on the hair follicles. The triggers may be a virus or something in the person's environment.

Sign and Symptoms

Common sign and symptoms of alopecia disease are as follows:

Roundish patches of hair loss on the head.
Hairless scalp or hair loss in the affected areas.
Hair loss
Temporary hair loss
Patchy hair loss

Alopecia areata often occurs in people whose family members have other autoimmune diseases, such as:
Diabetes Rheumatoid arthritis Thyroid disease Systemic lupus erythematosus Pernicious anemia Addison's disease.
Effective Treatment Methods and Tips

There are several available treatments for Alopecia. Two relatively new drugs-minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Proscar)-promote hair growth in a significant minority of patents.

Anti-inflammatory drugs that are prescribed for autoimmune diseases. Corticosteroids can be given as an injection into the scalp or other areas, orally (as a pill), or applied topically (rubbed into the skin) as an ointment, cream, or foam.

Another surgical procedure used to treat androgenic alopecia is scalp reduction.

When hair loss is extensive, wigs may be worn; there is also the option of hair transplantation (using minigrafts).

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18 thoughts on “Systemic Lupus Hair Loss

  1. euro_blends

    How to stop hair fall? Any medication or anything else is available that helps restoration of hair lost?
    What are the main causes of hair loss?

    1. drsuria_cbe

      You have not mentioned your age, sex, etc. This can be divided into patchy and diffuse types. Patchy is due to skin diseases, Diffuse is due to androgenic harmones,after delivery, after certain fevers, drugs , severe chronic illness, Systemic Lupus erthematosis. and somtimes without any cause.if athe cause is diagnosed, the hair without treatment grows in some cases.,in some local and sytemic drug treatment may be necessary and in some Surgery and transplantation may be required.

  2. Bella

    What are some causes of miscarriages?
    I thought my sister was 10 weeks or so but she was almost 12 weeks and just had a miscarriage. What would cause her to have a miscarriage at this stage and not earlier in her pregnancy? I’m really having trouble with this, because she was getting along great until the other day.

    1. top notch lady exclusive

      The cause of a miscarriage cannot always be determined. The most common known causes of miscarriage in the first third of pregnancy (1st trimester) are chromosomal abnormalities, collagen vascular disease (such as lupus), diabetes, other hormonal problems infection, and congenital (present at birth) abnormalities of the uterus. Chromosomal abnormalities of the fetus are the most common cause of early miscarriages, including blighted ovum (see above). Each of the causes will be described below.

      Chromosomes are microscopic components of every cell in the body that carry all of the genetic material that determine hair color, eye color, and our overall appearance and makeup. These chromosomes duplicate themselves and divide many times during the process of development, and there are numerous points along the way where a problem can occur. Certain genetic abnormalities are known to be more prevalent in couples that experience repeated pregnancy losses. These genetic traits can be screened for by blood tests prior to attempting to become pregnant. Half of the fetal tissue from1st trimester miscarriages contain abnormal chromosomes. This number drops to 20% with 2nd trimester miscarriages. In other words, abnormal chromosomes are more common with 1st trimester than with 2nd trimester miscarriages. First trimester miscarriages are so very common that unless they occur more than once, they are not considered “abnormal” per se. They do not prompt further evaluation unless they occur more than once. In contrast, 2nd trimester miscarriages are more unusual, and therefore may trigger evaluation even after a first occurrence. It is therefore clear that causes of miscarriages seem to vary according to trimester.

      Chromosomal abnormalities also become more common with aging, and women over age 35 have a higher rate of miscarriage than younger women. Advancing maternal age is the most significant risk factor for early miscarriage in otherwise healthy women.

      Collagen vascular diseases are illnesses in which a person’s own immune system attacks their own organs. These diseases can be potentially very serious, either during or between pregnancies. In these diseases, a woman makes antibodies to her own body’s tissues. Examples of collagen vascular diseases associated with an increased risk of miscarriage are systemic lupus erythematosus, and antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. Blood tests can confirm the presence of abnormal antibodies and are used to diagnose these conditions.

      Diabetes generally can be well-managed during pregnancy, if a woman and her doctor work closely together. However, if the diabetes is insufficiently controlled, not only is the risk of miscarriages higher, but the baby can have major birth defects. Other problems can also occur in relation to diabetes during pregnancy. Good control of blood sugars during pregnancy is very important.

      Hormonal factors may be associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, including Cushing’s Syndrome, thyroid disease, and polycystic ovary syndrome. It has also been suggested that inadequate function of the corpus luteum in the ovary (which produced progesterone necessary for maintenance of the very early stages of pregnancy) may lead to miscarriage. Termed luteal phase defect, this is a controversial issue, since several studies have not supported the theory of luteal phase defect as a cause of pregnancy loss.

      Maternal infection with a large number of different organisms has been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. Fetal or placental infection by the offending organism then leads to pregnancy loss. Examples of infections that have been associated with miscarriage include infections by Listeria monocytogenes, Toxoplasma gondii, parvovirus B19, rubella, herpes simplex, cytomegalovirus, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. Abnormal anatomy of the uterus can also cause miscarriages. In some women there can be a tissue bridge (uterine septum), that acts like a partial wall dividing the uterine cavity into sections. The septum usually has a very poor blood supply, and is not well suited for placental attachment and growth. Therefore, an embryo implanting on the septum would be at increased risk of miscarriage.

      Other structural abnormalities can result from benign growths in the uterus called fibroids. Fibroid tumors (leiomyomata) are benign growths of muscle cells in the uterus. While most fibroid tumors do not cause miscarriages, (in fact, they are a rare cause of infertility), some can interfere with the embryo implantation and the embryo’s blood supply, thereby causing miscarriage.

      Invasive surgical procedures in the uterus, such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, also slightly increase the risk of miscarriage.

  3. Joa

    I am not sure what is wrong with me? Rapid weight loss?
    I am an 18 year old female. For the past 2 years I’ve kept a steady, healthy weight of 107 lbs. I am only 5’1″, so that may be light, but I’m also very short! Anyway, since the beginning of summer (June) until now, I have noticed myself becoming thinner. Now, a couple months later I weigh 95 lbs. That’s 12 pounds vanished. I have not changed my diet and I do not exercise. So how is this possible? On top of that, I have noticed my hair thinning, constant fatigue, and loss of appetite. On top of that, I have had a constant cough for more than a month. I may have a loss of appetite but I still eat enough. I used to have extremely thick hair and now it is just normal thickness.

    So as a summary.. I have fatigue, loss of appetite, thinning hair, and loss of 12 lbs.

    Every few weeks I notice I am a few pounds lighter. All my clothes are baggy on me. I no longer have boobs or a butt! I do, but not as nice as they were before haha

    So, how is this possible?? I am seeing a doctor already but he isn’t quite sure yet because I had to get blood work and a chest X-Ray.

    1. Randy

      I was thinking hyperthyroidism, your symptoms reminded me of my sister. It did pop up in the symptom search, but you seem young. Here’s a list…

      Searches related to fatigue, loss of appetite, thinning hair, cough and weight loss

      Systemic lupus erythematosus A chronic autoimmune connective tissue disease that can affect any part of the body. as occurs in other autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks the body’s cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage. …

      Celiac diseaseA disease in which chronic failure to digest food is triggered by hypersensitivity of the small intestine to gluten

      Hyperthyroidism Overactivity of the thyroid gland, resulting in a rapid heartbeat and an increased rate of metabolism

      Sprue Disease of the small intestine causing malabsorption of food, in particular

      Others at the link.

  4. Anonymous

    I suffer from advanced rheumatoid arthritis It inflames all systems.What are symptoms of Lupus?
    I’ve had 6 joint replacements & 10 surgeries. But still suffer from flu-like digestive sys inflamation. No dairy, eggs, meat; vegan diet with herbal and other suppliments. At least I can walk, but the selfishness and cruel judgeing from biological family members and others causes me to grieve, because I love and pray for them and myself. Jesus wept a lot too. Ability to love is not about others; It’s about oneself, and God is the only witness that sees true.It is the small gestures of kindness and mercy that have the greatest meaning to someone who suffers. You don’t have to rescue them; just acknowledge them as still part of humanity. Go to others with something to share, and not with emptyness expecting others to fill you. Only you can rescue you from false identity, and still love. Purify your thoughts and heartfelt intentions. That’s what we’re here to learn. We are not our bodies. This world is only a shadow of the true world.

    1. Donna M

      There are two types of Lupus:
      Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE)
      and Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

      The only symptom of DLE is a butterfly-shaped facial rash that may spread to the forehead or the scalp.

      Symptoms of SLE include facial rash, fever, fatigue and malaise, joint and muscle pain, weight loss, hair loss, sensitivity to the sun, mouth sores, vulnerability to illness, enlarged lymph nodes, nausea, constipation or diarrhea, recurring bladder infections, and presence of lupus antibodies in the blood.

      As a side note, have you every tried Bach Flower Remedies. Edward Bach’s theories on illness might interest you, so if you can find his book Heal Thyself, you’d learn a lot.
      His research has shown that people who develop arthritis and other diseases leading to stiffness or rigidity is a reflection of the same in the person’s character or mindset.
      I’m not accusing you of anything here, please understand. I read the book a couple of weeks ago, to learn more about myself and why I’m prone to certain things. It took a couple of days to get my head around it, but it’s powerful stuff.
      Good luck, hon 🙂

  5. Katniss Suntana

    what is lupus disease?
    my mum has this but i dont really know what it is, and im too scared to ask her about it because it makes me upset and she doesnt take any medication for it and has a lot of hair loss, im really worried please help?

    1. Ian Mcquade

      Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the body. The immune system attacks the body’s cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage.

      Lupus most often harms the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. The course of the disease is unpredictable, with periods of illness (called flares) alternating with remissions. The disease occurs nine times more often in women than in men, especially in women in child-bearing years ages 15 to 35, and is also more common in those of non-European descent.

  6. Chicago

    bc qs.Has anyone taken B.C to have four periods a year and has had no problems conceiving after they stopped?
    I have chronic pelvic pain due to endometriosis. I’ve been thinking of considering the option of taking bc to have just four periods a year. I do however want to have kids in a couple years but I’m scared that having just four periods a year might affect my chances of conceiving. Has anyone tried doing this and have managed to still get pregnant when you stopped? Thanks.

  7. Ellie

    Is ESR always elevated in Systemic Lupus? I’m 19, female, I have an ESR of 50 mm/hr (normal 0-20)?
    my ESR is borderline so my doctor just wants me to repeat the test in a month.. i have a family history of lupus, hair loss, fatigue, muscle and joint pain,red rashes on my chest after exercise/sun exposure, should i be worried?

    1. Linda R

      An ESR of 50 is not terribly high, but it does show that there is inflammation in your body. Lupus is a faring and remitting disorder. So a lupus patient can have times when the sed rate (ESR) is absolutely normal.

      Your symptoms could point to lupus or to something else. Worrying will not change whether or not you have lupus, but if you do have it, worrying makes lupus worse. Worrying activates the body’s stress reactions which agitates lupus.

      Rather than worry that you might have lupus, try being thankful that you have a doctor who takes your symptoms seriously and is searching for the cause. Many patients are ‘blown off’ and take years to get a diagnosis. I went 38 years before I was diagnosed!

      If you do have lupus, or something else. the sooner it is indentified and the sooner it is treated the better quality of life you will have. This is a good thing. Not knowing is the bad thing.

      I have systemic lupus with organ involvement and have four jobs and am very active. I am 57 years old. If you have it, learn everything you can about it, become a partner with the doctor in planning your treatment regimen and be a good self manager and you should be just fine!

  8. snarf b

    i have systemic lupus and am looking for homepathic remedies any suggestions?
    I currently take immunosurpressents and antimalerials. they are not helping me get any better just keeping me from getting worse. i have recently added opc xtra and selenium as well as coq10. i still am very tired although thte opc helps. I have muscle pain and lots of joint swelling. I have sores that come and go on my back and on my ears and in my nose. I have severe reynauds syndrom that does not respond well to medication. I have moderate hair loss.

  9. MJ H

    Do you know someone with Systemic Lupus?
    Lupus is an auto-immune disease that causes inflammation throughout the body. Your own immune system attacks your internal organs such as kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, and central nervous system. It also attacks your joints causing arthritis like pain. Other symptoms include butterfly shaped rash covering the cheeks and nose, hair loss, extreme fatigue, anemia or blood clotting issues, pleurisy, and ulceration in the nose and mouth.

  10. Nee Nee

    “LUPUS”which is the best ways to perm hair with this condition?
    while perming my hair, nomatter how much vaseline or hair grease i’d put in scalp their no relief from the painful burning… is their another way to BASE the scalp from having inflamation of lesions…….

  11. defenseonly

    Could I have developed a disease from my breast implants, i know its not uncommon, knowledge plz.?
    I have breast implants, I have had them for almost 7years now, well, I have deen diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a connective tissue disorder, I really have been thinking that my implants have been causing SERIOUS health issues, I have many other things that dr’s cant fully diagnos but they know I have some bizzare health issues at my young age, any testing that is known any websites, that address the matter not from someone else personal medical problems but really concrete names, studies, stats, research etc…
    I will se my doctor just didnt know if anyone out there on our big world wide web can give me insight i live in Detroit MI so if your from MI or anywhere else its all good

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