About 6 out of 10 lupus patients experience hair loss, which can be both physically disfiguring and emotionally trying at a time when they’re battling a host of other symptoms. This hair loss occurs due to the body rejecting the hair follicles, not because of emotional or physical stress.
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In this video, rheumatologist Howard R. Smith, MD, describes the three types of hair loss that lupus patients may experience and how doctors treat the condition. The hair loss may occur all over the head, in quarter-sized lesions scattered across the scalp or, in some cases, in the first inch or two of the hairline. The condition also may affect the eyebrows.
The good news is that topical medications such as steroid lotions and pills such as prednisone can curb this symptom. However, patients need to talk with their doctors and begin managing this issue early to achieve the best outcomes, Dr. Smith says.