Is hair transplant possible after lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that a person suffers from certain symptoms and complications after contracting it. One of serious problems that bother these patients is severe hair loss.
There are different ways to reduce the severity of hair loss or treat this condition. After definitive hair loss treatment, the patient may be affected by baldness or sparse hair in some parts of head. Many lupus patients are looking for a way to benefit from benefits of hair transplantation and want to know the conditions of this surgery. Stay with us for more information.
What is lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system recognizes body’s cells as foreign and attacks them. The natural result of this condition is severe hair loss. There are two patterns of hair loss in these patients.
- In first case, suffering from lupus causes a decrease in hair volume and an increase in hair loss.
- In second case, the use of drugs will increase hair loss.
If hair loss is caused by disease itself, it is irreversible. But the shedding caused by drugs will stop after treatment period is over.
The difference between lupus and alopecia areata
Lupus and alopecia areata are considered autoimmune diseases. In these two diseases, the body’s immune system considers its cells to be foreign and attacks them. Hair loss is common point of these two diseases but they have fundamental differences. Their main differences include the following:
- There is no definitive cure for lupus. The doctor controls disease by prescribing medicine and prevents hair loss from worsening.
- Lupus hair loss is permanent and irreversible. The probability of hair growth and regrowth in these patients is low. In patients who do not take timely treatment and do not pay attention to doctor’s orders, the severity of disease and volume of hair loss will be greater.
Meanwhile, alopecia areata or hair loss is periodic. Symptoms and complications will disappear about a year after the onset of disease. Hair loss caused by alopecia is temporary, and with correct treatment instructions, the conditions for hair growth and regrowth are available.
Hair loss treatment in lupus patients
Stopping hair loss in these patients can only be done in case of continuous use of prescription drugs. We mentioned that hair loss due to lupus is permanent and there is no way to regrow hair. This is the reason why hair transplantation is not possible for these patients. Because the body’s immune system recognizes transplanted follicles as foreign and attacks them.
It is normal that after implantation, hair loss will intensify in these patients. You must be asking, is there no way to fix this problem? Scientific advances have led to existence of a suitable way to solve problems caused by autoimmune diseases.
The most suitable method for hair transplantation in lupus patients is to provide the conditions for hair growth in low back areas without removing new grafts and re-transplanting them in bald areas.
Specialists have tried to harvesting part of a person’s natural hair and simulate implantation process on prosthesis. After that, artificial hair is transplanted to patient with the restoration method. This treatment is completely similar to hair restoration in patients with alopecia. The use of hair prosthesis does not require anesthesia and no scars remain in donor area.
Results of hair transplantation in lupus patients
In lupus, the immune system attacks some major organs such as kidneys, joints, lungs, heart, brain, and blood cells. It is relatively difficult to diagnose this disease. Because the initial symptoms of lupus are similar to different diseases. A sign that makes a strong distinction between lupus and other autoimmune diseases is formation of two butterfly-like spots on patient’s cheeks. The severity of symptoms of lupus patients may differ from each other. But they all experience irreversible hair loss.
In patients whose medication side effects are the main cause of hair loss, we can hope for hair regrowth after treatment period is over. But in cases where hair follicles are damaged by lupus, there is no way to regrow them. You should know that the hair loss of most lupus patients is accompanied by wounds and scars. This factor minimizes the possibility of hair growth.
There are two main reasons for increasing acceptance of hair transplant by these patients. These reasons are:
- Lupus patients intend to increase their self-confidence to be present in community by hiding scars by transplanting hair.
- In addition, hair transplantation will help these patients to solve the problem of baldness caused by disease.
Disorder in immune system of these people causes telogen hair loss. This style of hair loss remains in a state of rest for a while, and after that patient experiences severe hair loss. First, the shedding starts with a coin pattern, lack of timely control and treatment will cause the problem to spread to other areas of head, eyebrows and beard, even other parts of body. People who are looking to use different methods of hair transplantation should know that natural hair transplantation has no effect on treatment of hair loss in lupus patients.
Women are 9 times more likely to get this disease than men. Hair transplant is effective in these people when disease is completely controlled. Otherwise, lupus patients are advised to use other methods such as hair prostheses.
Use of hair prosthesis in lupus patients
The reaction of immune system of lupus patients makes the conditions for natural hair transplant difficult and complicated. Most experts consider the use of hair prosthesis to be best option for these people. In this method, artificial hairs are selected in size and color according to patient’s hair. There are different ways to attach prostheses to a person’s head.
Using glue, clips or tying synthetic hair into a net is the best way to connect synthetic hair. The cost of doing this method is lower compared to traditional and modern hair transplant methods. In addition, there is no direct contact between prostheses and patient’s immune system. So, we will not face different reactions after hair prosthesis.
How long does a hair prosthesis last?
Hair prosthesis is not a permanent procedure. This method is semi-permanent and requires participation in repair sessions. Considering that it is not possible to implant natural hair in most lupus patients, it will be mandatory to attend scheduled sessions after connecting prosthesis. The durability of prostheses is different.
Factors such as prosthesis quality, connection method and physical condition of person are directly involved in increasing or decreasing this period. In general, the durability of this method can be estimated around 10 to 15 months. If you follow the care instructions carefully, the lifespan of prostheses will increase significantly.
After a period of 10 or 15 months from connecting prostheses, it is necessary to participate in restoration session. Repair of hair prostheses is often done in one session. The choice of color, material and model of prostheses depends on the taste of patient. These hairs are completely natural. So, you won’t have to worry about attending parties.
Unlike a wig, wearing a hair prosthesis does not make your face look artificial. Using these hairstyles does not cause any allergic reactions and does not cause natural hair loss.
Hair prosthesis care instructions
By following some tips, you can increase the useful life of hair prostheses.
- Removing styling sprays: If you use tuft or gel during day to make your hair feel good, be sure to wash your hair and dry it completely before going to bed.
- Use of oils: completely natural fibers and hair are used in making hair prostheses. So, to strengthen and refresh them, you should use useful oils. This action prevents hair from becoming dry and brittle. Almond, olive and coconut oil are the best choices. It is better to oil your hair at least two to three times a week using the right oil. Do not forget that the oil should not be in direct contact with the base and root of the prosthetic hair.
- Using a special hat for swimming: People who use hair prosthesis have no restrictions to do sports activities. If you are fond of swimming and use public pools, it is very important to observe one point. Be sure to use a special hat for swimming. Because the chlorine in pool water causes serious damage to your hair.
- Avoiding long-term exposure to sun: We repeat that the hairs used in making prostheses are completely natural. Just as sunlight can damage our natural hair, long-term exposure of hair prostheses to sunlight also reduces their quality and life. It is better to use a hat for traveling outdoors.
- Choosing right pillow: The sensitivity of choosing right pillow is higher in people who have done hair prosthesis. The material of the pillowcase is also very important. Cotton fabrics and fabrics that do not generate electricity are the best options. Change your pillowcase once a week.