Autoimmune disease and hair loss

Dermatol Clin. 2013 Jan;31(1):75-91. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2012.08.008. Epub 2012 Oct 26.


Once systemic disease is in remission, it is prudent to recognize the importance of alopecia in the patient's overall sense of well-being and quality-of-life clinical outcome. Scarring alopecia (scalp discoid lupus erythematosus) can be the presenting manifestation of lupus in more than half of affected individuals. Diffuse nonscarring alopecia in lupus is usually responsive to treatment of the systemic disease. Severe, often intractable burning pruritus of the scalp is a frequent complaint in dermatomyositis. Lichen planopilaris may mimic other autoimmune forms of scarring alopecia. Alopecia can also be caused by medications used to treat systemic autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / etiology*
  • Alopecia / psychology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / psychology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Lichen Planus / complications*
  • Lichen Planus / psychology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid / complications*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid / psychology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / psychology
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index

Supplementary concepts

  • Lichen planus follicularis