Thinning hair is often one of the first symptoms of lupus. Hair loss is the result of inflammation of the skin and scalp. Some people with lupus lose hair by the clump. More often, hair thins out slowly. Some people also have thinning of the beard, eyebrows, eyelashes, and other body hair. Lupus can cause hair to feel brittle, break easily, and look a bit ragged, earning it the name “lupus hair.”
Lupus treatment usually results in renewed hair growth. But if you develop lesions on your scalp, hair loss in those areas may be permanent.
One of the most visible symptoms of lupus is a butterfly-shaped rash that appears over the bridge of the nose and on both cheeks. About 50 percent of people with lupus have this rash. It can occur suddenly or appear after exposure to sunlight. Sometimes the rash appears just before a flare-up.
Lupus can also cause non-itchy lesions in other areas of the body. Rarely, lupus can cause hives. Many people with lupus are sensitive to the sun, or even to artificial lighting. Some experience discoloration in the fingers and toes.