Lupus is a problematic autoimmune disorder in which the immune system of a person turns against the body and damages the healthy cells and tissues. In lupus hair loss can be observed in 50% of the cases suffering from this condition. Hair problems and loss can be observed in the form of thinning of hair during the period of disease activity. Lupus hair include short strands of hair on the scalp line can also be seen.
In cases of an acute systemic lupus erythematosus attack fever is seen in many cases and this is normally followed with generalized hair loss. This hair loss follows arrested growth of hair in the period when the disease is acute. In lupus hair loss may also be seen because of infection or because of the use of corticosteroids and other medications to treat this condition.
In lupus hair loss may be the result of discoid lesions as well. In cases where there is sudden flare up in the disease activity hair growth may include defective hair and this can result in the hair becoming rather fragile and breaking easily. Chronic discoid lupus and subacute cutaneous lupus tends to interfere with the normal functioning of hair follicles. Some medicines like prednisone particularly can cause hair loss.
In lupus hair loss can be distressing for the patients and their family. However it is important to understand that such hair loss is temporary and the hair successfully grows back after treatment. However where scarring of hair follicles is seen because of a kind of rash on the scalp called discoid rash the resulting hair loss may be permanent. In lupus hair loss may in fact be one of the first manifestations of this disease and this may be noticed by the patient in the form of hair on the patient’s pillow. The extent of hair loss may vary in different cases. In some cases the hair loss may be patchy while in others it may be extreme. Following the hair loss hair growth is observed but the hair regeneration occurs at an extremely slow pace.