Not all types of hair loss are genetic. In many cases, hair loss is the result of an underlying health issue you may not even know you have. Some autoimmune diseases cause hair loss, too.
Understanding Autoimmune Diseases
The main role of your immune system is to protect the body from infections and bacteria. But sometimes it can lose its ability to recognize these harmful substances. It will then start attacking cells in the body, thus causing an autoimmune disorder.
There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune disease. Some are more common than others, but they all have vastly different symptoms. Only some of these autoimmune diseases cause hair loss as a side effect.
Which Autoimmune Diseases Cause Hair Loss?
The following three autoimmune diseases cause hair loss:
- Alopecia areata occurs when the immune system starts attacking hair follicles. The hair loss it causes usually happens in round patches across the scalp. There is no known method to reverse it, but there are certain treatments that may reduce its scope.
- Lupus can cause either patchy hair loss or gradual thinning of the hair. In most cases, the hair loss is temporary but may become permanent if the disease advances.
- Scleroderma is the result of a surplus of collagen in your body. The gradual hair thinning it causes can be either temporary or permanent. Because this is a chronic condition, even if your hair grows back, it may start thinning again in the future.
To control the symptoms of these diseases, you must treat their causes first. Most of them are chronic, but a proper treatment will reduce the risk of more severe effects. It is thus important to go to your doctor as soon as the early symptoms appear.