Autoimmune Diseases and Hair Loss Causes

PhilArticles, Blog

“Life and health is a crown that the healthy people wear, but only the patients can look at it and see it,” an old saying goes. This quote holds particularly true when discussing autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus panniculitis, and systemic sclerosis, those mysterious conditions where our own immune system turns against us, contributing to their unique pathogenesis. One of these silent battles it wages often manifests as hair loss, a symptom that might seem superficial but can have profound psychological impacts. This could be in the form of broken hairs, diffuse alopecia, patchy alopecia, or even scalp involvement.

Autoimmune diseases are complex and varied, encompassing conditions like lupus panniculitis, systemic sclerosis, cutaneous lupus erythematosus, thyroid disease to rheumatoid arthritis, all with different pathogenesis. Each, be it diffuse alopecia, broken hairs, scalp issues, or epidermal atrophy, has its unique pathogenesis. Yet they share one common trait: the potential to cause hair loss. Whether through skin conditions like cutaneous lupus erythematositis or systemic issues like vacuolar interface dermatitis, your body’s defense mechanism could be causing more harm than good. This is especially true in cases of dermatomyositis, where pathogenesis often leads to epidermal atrophy and diffuse alopecia.

Understanding the connection between autoimmune disorders like lupus erythematosus and hair loss, specifically diffuse alopecia, is crucial not only for managing symptoms but also for improving overall health outcomes. This understanding, featured on our blog home page, can shed light on the pathogenesis involving hairs. Please visit to read more on such topics. Indeed, every strand of lost hair from your scalp tells a tale, revealing what’s happening beneath your skin. Trichoscopy can help interpret this story.

Identifying Symptoms of Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata, similar to lupus erythematosus, is an autoimmune disease that can cause sudden hair loss, leading to scalp atrophy and loss of hairs. It’s crucial for clinical diagnosis to recognize the symptoms of lupus erythematosus early in patients for effective treatment.

Recognizing Sudden Patchy Hair Loss

The first sign of alopecia areata, often detected through trichoscopy, is usually a patch or two of missing hairs on the scalp, typically round in shape and noticeable on the skin. This type of hair loss, known as patchy alopecia, is sudden and can occur virtually overnight. It’s often seen in lupus erythematosus patients, with trichoscopy revealing a diffuse pattern on the scalp. Your scalp, especially in lupus erythematosus patients, may also show signs of dermatitis or eczema, detectable through trichoscopy, a common issue in autoimmune conditions.

In patients, the scalp’s hair follicles aren’t destroyed as per trichoscopy, but they’re not producing new hairs either, much like a barren fig tree. This results in a noticeable decrease in hair density and volume on the scalp, evident in trichoscopy, with a diffuse pattern often likened to a fig.

For instance, you might wake up one morning and discover clumps of your hair on the pillow, indicating a scalp issue that may require trichoscopy. This could be related to SLE or even a fig allergy. Or you could be a patient washing your hair and notice more strands than usual going down the drain, a scalp feature often observed in trichoscopy.

Noting Changes in Nails Associated with Alopecia Areata

Another symptom associated with lupus erythematosus, similar to alopecia areata, involves changes to your nails and scalp. Trichoscopy can help identify these changes in patients. Patients with lupus erythematosus may develop tiny dents or pitting on their scalp, which under trichoscopy, looks like small white spots scattered across the nail surface.

This isn’t always present in every scalp of patients with lupus or alopecia areata, but through trichoscopy, it’s a possible sign to look out for. If you’ve noticed changes in your scalp and sudden hair loss, it would be wise to consult a dermatologist. Patients with lupus often experience these symptoms, which can be confirmed through trichoscopy.

Understanding the Cyclical Nature of The Disease’s Symptoms

One thing that sets alopecia areata apart from other forms of hair loss, like scalp lupus, is its cyclical nature. Trichoscopy often reveals this in patients. You, as lupus patients, might experience periods where your scalp symptoms seem to improve only for them to worsen again later on.

Living with lupus is like riding a roller coaster – one moment, patients are at the top feeling great about their improving condition; then suddenly, without warning, they’re plummeting back down into another bout of intense symptoms, perhaps even affecting the scalp.

This cyclical pattern can make dealing with alopecia areata, a scalp condition often associated with lupus, particularly challenging both physically and emotionally because there’s always that uncertainty of when the next flare-up might occur.

The Role of Trichoscopy in Detecting Alopecia Areata

Trichoscopy, a non-invasive technique for examining hair and scalp, can help detect conditions like lupus-induced alopecia areata. The post identifies specific trichoscopic features such as yellow dots, black dots, and broken hairs on the scalp, which are characteristic signs of this condition, lupus.

By identifying early signs of lupus on the scalp through trichoscopy, you can initiate treatment sooner rather than later. Remember, time is of the essence when dealing with autoimmune diseases like alopecia areata that affect the scalp.

Understanding Causes of Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is a puzzling condition. Its causes are rooted in genetics, stress, and the immune system’s interaction with the scalp’s hair follicles.

Genetics Role in Alopecia Development

Genetics play an essential role in alopecia areata development. It’s like being dealt a tricky hand of cards by your folks, especially when it comes to your scalp.

Studies show that if you have a close relative with the scalp disease, you’re more likely to develop it. But don’t hit the panic button just yet! Just because your scalp has a higher chance of issues, it doesn’t mean you will definitely get them – it just means you’ve got a higher probability than Joe Bloggs down the street.

Effective Treatments for Alopecia Areata

Managing autoimmune diseases like alopecia areata can be tricky, but with the right treatment, it’s possible. Let’s explore some of these treatments.

Corticosteroids Suppress Immune Response

Corticosteroids are a class of drug that can help control your immune system. They work by reducing inflammation and suppressing the body’s immune response. This makes them effective in treating alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.

  • Pros: They’re available in various forms – oral, injectable, or topical. You can choose what best suits you.
  • Cons: Long-term use may lead to side effects like weight gain and weakened bones.

Remember though, every person is unique, so what works for one might not work for another.

Topical Immunotherapy Benefits

Topical immunotherapy involves applying chemicals directly to the skin to provoke an allergic reaction. Sounds freaky? Well, this reaction actually distracts your immune system from attacking your hair follicles – pretty cool right?

  • Pros: It’s considered one of the most effective treatments for severe alopecia areata.
  • Cons: It requires regular visits to a dermatologist and may cause a rash or itching.

Again, it all boils down to personal preference and how your body reacts to different treatments.

Light Therapy Treatment Efficacy

Ever heard of light therapy? It utilizes ultraviolet light rays to treat various skin conditions including alopecia areata.

  • Pros: It’s painless and has fewer side effects compared to other treatments.
  • Cons: Multiple sessions may be required which could be time-consuming.

Now that we’ve covered some treatment options for alopecia areata on our blog, let me remind you – always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment regimen! Also, please visit our blog home page to read more topics.

Exploring Different Autoimmune Diseases Causing Hair Loss

Ever wondered why your hair’s falling out like leaves in autumn? It could be an autoimmune disease messing with your follicles.

Lupus and Your Hair

Lupus, a sneaky thief, might be the culprit behind your hair loss. This sly fox of a disease can cause inflammation and damage to the hair follicles, leading to lupus hair – a term used when lupus causes significant hair loss.

In severe cases, we’re talking about lupus panniculitis, which can lead to scarring alopecia. Imagine it like a wildfire tearing through a forest, leaving nothing but barren land behind.

Thyroid Disorders Thinning Hair

Next up on our list is thyroid disorders. These bad boys are notorious for causing thinning hair or even baldness. When your thyroid’s acting up, it’s like throwing off the balance of a well-oiled machine.

Your body starts producing too much or too little thyroid hormone, and boom! Your hair starts packing its bags and leaving home.

Psoriasis Temporary Hair Loss

Last but not least is psoriasis. Now this guy doesn’t play fair at all! It causes temporary hair loss by creating thick scales on the scalp that literally choke out your strands.

Imagine trying to grow flowers in concrete – pretty tough right? That’s what it’s like for your poor hairs trying to push through those psoriasis scales.

Diving Deep into Types of Alopecia Areata

In the world of autoimmune diseases causing hair loss, there’s a wide spectrum. Let’s delve deeper into alopecia areata and its various types.

Alopecia Totalis vs Universalis: What’s the Difference?

Alopecia totalis (AT) and alopecia universalis (AU) might sound like two peas in a pod, but they’re as different as chalk and cheese. AT is when you lose all hair on your scalp – think Mr. Clean or Professor X from X-Men. AU, on the other hand, is more extreme; it’s like AT went Hulk mode! With AU, you lose hair from all parts of your body.

But don’t freak out just yet! Consult with a dermatologist if you notice any unusual hair loss patterns. They can guide you through this hairy situation.

Ophiasis Pattern Alopecia: The Snake in the Grass

Ophiasis pattern alopecia is another type of alopecia areata that slithers its way around your scalp like a snake. It causes hair loss in a band-like pattern at the back and sides of your head.

This type can be tricky to treat because it often hides under healthy hair growth areas making it harder for doctors to spot without thorough examination. But hey, no one said fighting off snakes was easy!

Persistent Patchy Alopecia: The Stubborn Type

Then there’s persistent patchy alopecia – the stubborn type that refuses to budge despite treatment attempts. This form shows up as patches varying in size scattered across your scalp.

You might see signs like follicular plugging or tortuous capillaries under a microscope during diagnosis. Don’t let those big words scare you though! All it means is that there are blocked follicular openings where new hairs should grow. But with right treatment options, these patches can be controlled effectively.

Coping Strategies for Sudden Hair Loss

The Need for Psychological Support

Autoimmune disease causing hair loss isn’t just a physical ordeal. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, too. Imagine waking up one day with clumps of hair on your pillow. That’s enough to send anyone spiraling.

Psychological support during diagnosis is crucial. Why? Because it helps you deal with the emotional distress that comes with sudden hair loss. You’re not alone in this; there are countless others experiencing the same thing.

Wrapping Up on Autoimmune Diseases and Hair Loss

Let’s face it, losing your hair can be a tough pill to swallow. But remember, you’re not alone in this struggle. Many people are grappling with autoimmune diseases causing hair loss like Alopecia Areata. Knowledge is power – understanding the causes and identifying symptoms can help you tackle this head-on. Now that we’ve dived deep into different types of Alopecia Areata and explored effective treatments, you’re equipped to navigate this journey with confidence.

Don’t let hair loss get under your skin! There are plenty of coping strategies to help you deal with sudden hair loss. The road might seem rough now, but remember every cloud has a silver lining. You’ve got this! Ready for more? Dive into our other articles for more insights or reach out to our experts for personalized advice.


What are some common autoimmune diseases that cause hair loss?

Autoimmune diseases like Alopecia Areata, Lupus, and Hashimoto’s disease can often result in hair loss.

Can autoimmune diseases causing hair loss be cured?

While there’s no known cure for most autoimmune diseases causing hair loss yet, various treatments can help manage symptoms effectively.

How effective are the treatments for Alopecia Areata?

The effectiveness of treatments varies from person to person based on their unique condition. Some may experience significant improvement while others may see gradual progress.

What coping strategies can I use for sudden hair loss due to an autoimmune disease?

You could consider counseling or support groups, wearing wigs or scarves, practicing stress management techniques such as yoga or meditation, among others.

Can lifestyle changes help manage autoimmune disease-related hair loss?

Absolutely! A healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep and reduced stress levels can all contribute towards better management of the condition.