Hair Alopecia Diseases That Cause Alopecia

Diseases That Cause Alopecia

There are several diseases that cause hair loss, which can be of endocrine, metabolic or immune origin.

La androgenetic alopecia It is the most frequent cause of hair loss. Some other common causes that cause hair loss are feverish illnesses, severe systemic diseases, pregnancy, diets, anemia, iron deficiency and sudden weight loss etc.

However, there are also a variety of enfermedades that manifest or can to provoke hair loss. These may be of origin metabolic, autoimmune, or endocrine. Next we will talk a little about some of them.

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Endocrine-based diseases.

There are some diseases that cause hair loss of endocrine origin, as we will explain below.


It is a condition that is produced by excessive production of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland. The signs and symptoms vary slightly between people, the most common are irritability, muscle weakness, sleep problems, heat intolerance, tachycardia, weight loss, etc. The hair of people who suffer from it usually has a very smooth texture. In addition, a progressive thinning of the hair that affects the entire scalp. However, the degree of hair loss has no correlation with the severity of the disease.


In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones to meet the needs of the body. The most frequent cause of this condition is iodine deficiency, followed by causes autoimmune. The most common symptoms are cold intolerance, feeling tired, depression and weight gain. Patients with hypothyroidism usually have a coarse and brittle hair, due to reduced bait production. Up to half of these patients can have a partial or diffuse alopecia that can affect all body hair

Polycystic ovary syndrome.

It is a heterogeneous disease de Unknown cause that characterized by an overproduction of androgens. Symptoms are varied, but are due to eexcess circulating androgens. Due to excess male hormones, patients with this syndrome may develop a picture of androgenetic alopecia exacerbated.

Autoimmune diseases.

Patients with diseases systemic autoimmune They may have hair loss. When patients are in remission, they often have severe alopecia as a sequel. This severely reduces your self-esteem, can cause depression, and it reduces your quality of life significantly.


Hair loss is one of the most common skin signs of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), appearing in almost half of the patients who suffer from it. Alopecia associated with lupus It can be of two types:

Non-scarring alopecia.

This can affect all follicles in the body including hair, eyebrow, beard and body hair. This alopecia occurs during acute episodes of illness. Can be presented as diffuse thinning and hair loss, which resolves more or less in 6 months. It can also be presented as what is known as "Lupus hair", which is dry, brittle hair that is easily damaged, which is seen predominantly in the hairline.

Scarring Alopecia or Discoid Lupus Erythematosus.

It is a autoimmune disease that is produced inflammatory reactions that can damage many organs in the body. In the case of the scalp, the inflammation produces a progressive replacement of the follicles by connective tissue with varying degrees of permanent damage to the pluripotent stem cells of the follicle. All this produces a scarring alopecia, which is presented in more than half of the patients with the discoid variety of the disease. It can appear as the first manifestation of the disease and may even be the only manifestation in some cases. It affects women in a greater proportion with an age of onset between 20 and 30 years of age. Being a scarring alopecia, that hair no longer returns.


It is a autoimmune disease, systemic which affects the connective tissue and muscles. It can be presented to all ages, affecting more frequently to women. At first, skin lesions may resemble a contact dermatitis. On the scalp, atrophic, confluent plaques, purplish in color with diffuse distribution. The injuries resemble a seborrheic dermatitis. So sometimes a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. The alopecia, it is not healingl, but it tends to be generalized, affecting the entire scalp. Although non-scarring alopecia hardly occurs, it is common for this entity to coexist with a disease that can cause scarring alopecia, such as lupus erythematosus.


It is a autoimmune disease that affects the connective tissue. It comes in two main forms: Generalized (also known as systemic sclerosis) Y localized (also known as Morfea). The generalized form in turn can be presented from diffuse or limited form. Changes sclerotics that causes this disease can affect the connective tissue of any organ. Frequently the kidney or heart and lungs. The localized form does not affect the internal organs. Lesions are characterized by patches or plates of thickened, shiny and smooth skin, with hyper and hypopigmented areas, in addition to telangiectasias. In well-developed lesions the sharp follicles and sweat glands They are absent. Due to nature scar From the associated alopecia the hair in these injuries is lost forever.


Fibromyalgia can be of two types, primary school and high school. The shape secondary is a inflammatory component of many autoimmune patients. The primary fibromyalgia is a functional somatic syndrome caused by disturbances in pain processing by the central nervous system. It is characterized by a Chronic, generalized pain of the musculoskeletal system, associated with fatigue and the presence of pain points in specific areas of the body. Fibromyalgia can be a component of many autoimmune diseases that cause scarring alopeciaLike lupus erythematosus. Also, the drugs that are used to treat fibromyalgia, They can cause alopecia. Alopecia caused by these medications is usually diffuse, not scarring and limited to the scalp.

Scarring alopecia.

Among the diseases that cause hair loss we find scars.

These alopecia are produced by a damage to the follicle which is severe enough to cause the follicle destruction and this later is replaced by scar tissue. Scarring alopecia can be primary or secondary.

Primary scarring alopecia

These are a group of rare diseases that primarily affect the body's follicles. The cause and pathophysiology of these alopecia is poorly understood, so they are classified based on the type of inflammation seen in the lesions.

  • Associated with lymphocytes. Within this group is the Discoid lupus erythematosus, the lichen planus pilariAnd the mucinous alopecia among others.
    • Mixed inflammation. In this group are the Keloid folliculitis and the fnecrotic olliculitis

Secondary scarring alopecia

These are produced by diseases that affect the skin and as a secondary consequence the destruction of the follicles occurs, although they are not disorders of the follicle itself. This type of alopecia is classified according to its origin.

  • Infectious: Caused by mushrooms (ringworm capitis), bacteria (tuberculosisi) or virus (Herpes zoster)
    • Malignant Diseases: Like neoplastic or lymphoproliferative alopecia.
    • Exogenous factors: such as radiation, burns or drugs.

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Dr. Enrique Orozco
Dr. Enrique Orozco
General Director, Specialist in Trichology and Hair Transplantation Certified by ABHRS. Only ABHRS Certified with residence in Mexico.


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Dr. Enrique Orozco
General Director, Specialist in Trichology and Hair Transplantation Certified by ABHRS. Only ABHRS Certified with residence in Mexico.




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