Suspect #9: Autoimmune diseases Autoimmune diseases, in which the body has an inappropriate immune response against things normally present in the body, are also responsible for hair loss in women. Lupus, for example, affects about 1.5 million people, and tends to strike women during their childbearing years. "The degree of hair loss can range anywhere from losing clumps while shampooing or brushing, to bald patches and a rash on the scalp." Alopecia areata is another autoimmune disorder in which the immune system specifically attacks hair follicles. "It affects about 4.7 million people in the United States, and occurs equally in men and women," says Marotta.
If you start to notice balding patches (usually circular or oval in shape), and tingling or pain on the scalp, head to your doctor for a diagnosis and safe recommendations for hair regrowth -- the same topical treatments that help with hair thinning are not recommended for hair loss associated with autoimmune diseases.
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