Lupus hair loss is not discussed as often as it should.
Lupus is a long-term chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation throughout the body. It affects African American women more than any other population in the US – at a 3 to 4 times higher occurrence rate. The autoimmune disease can damage parts of the body including skin, joints and organs.
The inflammation associated with the autoimmune disease causes discoid lesions on the scalp resulting in scaring. Once scarring has occurred, hair follicles become damaged and replaced with scar tissue. This causes permanent hair loss in that area of the lesion.
While there is no cure for the disease, it can be treated to help manage the symptoms.
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, common signs and symptoms of include:
Pain or swelling in the joints
Sensitivity to sunlight or fluorescent light
Chest pain when breathing deeply
A butterfly-shaped rash on checks and nose
Fingers and toes turning white or blue.
Treatments include medical prescriptions, as well as the use of herbal and supplemental treatments. If you are experiencing signs of Lupus, it’s important to have your blood tested by your doctor.
In a video by the Lupus Foundation of America, Monique Gore-Massy discusses her experience living with lupus.