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Alopecias in lupus erythematosus
  1. Josef Symon Salgado Concha1,2 and
  2. Victoria P Werth1,2
  1. 1 Corporal Michael J Crescenz VAMC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2 Department of Dermatology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Josef Symon Salgado Concha; Josef.Concha{at}


Several patterns of hair loss can occur in lupus erythematosus (LE). Alopecias which show histological characteristics of LE are LE-specific, and include discoid LE (DLE), diffuse or patchy hair loss in acute LE, subacute cutaneous LE, and rarely tumid LE. Lupus hair in SLE is a poorly characterised entity and may be a form of telogen effluvium. Alopecia areata can coexist with LE and may mimic DLE. Non-lupus alopecias such as telogen effluvium and anagen effluvium have a myriad of causes which include disease flares, drugs and stress in the setting of LE. The latest validated Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics classification criteria for SLE includes non-scarring alopecia as a criterion; therefore, recognising the aetiology of hair loss in the setting of LE is crucial in classifying a patient to have systemic disease.

  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • autoimmune diseases
  • autoimmunity

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  • Contributors JSSC and VPW have contributed equally to the manuscript. VPW is responsible for the overall content as guarantor.

  • Funding This work was supported by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (Veterans Health Administration, Office of Research and Development and Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development) and NIH RO1AR071653 (VPW).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data statement There are no unpublished data available for this literature review.