Discoid Lupus and Hair Loss

Discoid lupus and hair loss are linked. It does not harm the organs as systemic lupus does, but it does hurt the skin, like the scalp.

Some of the complications that discoid lupus causes on the skin are permanent hair loss unless you take appropriate steps.

On the other hand, systemic lupus creates thin hair on the scalp, although rarely does the person lose significant amounts of hair.

So far, I have considered two types of lupus. Will there be any other? Let's see.

Types of Lupus

Although I have considered two, the total types of lupus are four. Let's see them one by one.

1) Discoid Lupus Erythematosus-A chronic irritation in the form of discs, especially on the scalp. Hence its name is discoid lupus. After the irritation, scars form, where, unfortunately, hair won't grow back once it is lost.

2) Drug Induced Lupus-The name says it all. It is a type of lupus caused by drugs or medications.

3) Subacute Cutaneous Erythematosus-This kind of lupus forms sores and inflammation in the skin when the one that has it exposed to the sun. It affects different organs. 

4) Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE-Though the most common, is difficult to detect because there's no specific study. It could affect every organ of the body. It is not contagious. 

Of these four, the most dangerous to your scalp is discoid lupus because disc-shaped scars do form. If left untreated, hair will never grow back. You can click here for a complete explanation of how Lupus and Hair Loss are related.

What is Discoid Lupus and Hair Loss?

Discoid LupusDiscoid Lupus

According to Healthline.com, discoid lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease. It comes with a severe skin rash, which gets worse the longer you expose to the sun.

It's like marking cattle with a branding iron. In the mark flare-up area, hair will never grow back, so the loss of hair becomes permanent.

Similarly, if untreated, discoid lupus does the same to the scalp. If the scar forms on your scalp, you are doomed because the hair won’t return.

That's why it is so important to see your doctor as soon as you notice any symptoms.

In the case of systemic lupus, with the proper treatment, even if you've lost some of your hair, you can recover it.

Discoid Lupus Causes

The exact causes of discoid lupus are not known. There is a possibility that it has to do with genetics and hormonal and environmental factors.

Sunlight exposure and cigarette smoke are some environmental factors, in the case of cigarettes, either the one who's smoking or those around him.

The number of women with lupus is more than 90 percent of all cases. African-Americans are three times more likely to get lupus than Caucasians. 

Discoid lupus is an autoimmune disease but not contagious. It is limited to the skin, not to other body organs. But, for sure, discoid lupus and hair loss are related. 


There are symptoms of discoid lupus that can be mistaken for eczema or plaque psoriasis. Therefore, the person must see their doctor as soon as they see one or more of the following symptoms:

            ·    Scaly or crusty rash in one or several parts of the body- Especially the body parts most exposed to the sun, such as the face, the back part of the hands, the neck, and the scalp.

            ·    Pain or itching in the affected area.

            ·    Round lesions.

            ·    Hair loss patches- Remember that discoid lupus and hair loss are connected. That loss can be permanent.

            ·    Thinning of the skin-Except on the scalp could happen quite the opposite.

            ·    Brittle or bent nails.

            ·    Peeling.

            ·    Thick scales on different parts of the body.

            ·    Lesions or ulcers on the lips, inside or outside.

            ·    Changes in skin color, ranging from red to purple.


Discoid lupus doesn’t have a permanent cure. But the best treatments available are:

 ·    Anti-malarial oral treatment, as hydroxychloroquine. That will reduce the recurrence of the disease and damage to the skin. It can absorb UV light—one of the skin's worst enemies.

 ·    Prescribed corticosteroid injections applied around or on the lesions.

 ·    Creams or steroid ointments to reduce inflammation and redness and improve the skin's appearance.

 ·    Immunomodulators decrease the body's immunological response since discoid lupus is an autoimmune disease.

 ·    Anti-inflammatory non-steroid medications like aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen, or what the doctor prescribes.

What else can you do?

There are other things you can do to get discoid lupus and hair loss under control, such as:

            ·    Take Vitamin C. This vitamin is well known to boost the immunological system and help to heal wounds.

            ·    Eating foods containing high amounts of omega-3 acids, like chia seed, sardines, seafood, walnuts, salmon, olives, flaxseeds, etc. All these foods will soothe the inflammation caused by any lupus.

            ·    Avoid unnecessary exposure to the sun. If you have to be in outer activities, protect from the UV rays using a good sun blocker or hat and covering to avoid further scorching of the lesions.

Treating discoid lupus and hair loss is not an easy task. But if you are positive and determined, you can control this disease that doesn't have a cure yet. For complete information about the causes of hair loss, click here.

Discoid lupus is like a rancher with a branding iron, chasing whoever dares in his path. So if you have any of the symptoms, see your doctor.

Cattle Iron BrandingCattle Iron Branding