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Common questions we hear about lupus

Can Lupus cause hair loss?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes! Lupus causes skin become inflamed, mainly affecting the face and scalp. Over time this can cause hair to gradually thin, and in some cases fall out in large clumps. Some people may also notice a loss of facial hair, such as beard hair, eyelashes or eyebrows.

The good news is the hair loss will usually start to improve once your lupus is under control. In some cases, when scars have formed, the hair may not grow back as the skin is too damaged.

It is important to note that lupus can affect your hair in other ways. Rather than falling out, it may be more fragile and cause the hair to break along the hair line.

Although this can be an early warning sign for lupus, it can also be a warning sign for other disease, so make sure you see your GP to get a clear diagnosis.

Can lupus cause hives?

Although uncommon, lupus can cause hives. The cause is unknown; however, it is thought to be related to an over production of antibodies in the body. Exposure to sun light is also thought to play a role.

Some of the medication that is used to treat lupus can cause side effects such as hives.

Most patients will notice that the symptoms will go after 24 hours, however if they stay it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about this as it can be caused by inflammation of the blood vessels under the skin.

The use of antihistamines will usually bring down the hives and itchiness.

How does lupus affect your kidneys?

A large number of patients with lupus will develop some form of kidney inflammation. If you have been diagnosed with lupus it is likely that your doctor will keep an eye on your kidney function to check for any severe warning signs. Here are some of the symptoms you can look out for:

  • Foamy urine

  • Brownish urine

  • High blood pressure

  • Swelling in the feet

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.

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