Female. I was diagnosed with Discoid Lupus Erythematosus about 4 years ago. It started out as a little bald spot, now most of my hear on the top is gone. I am not sure what to do, I have at the cortizone shots, I have used the clobex shampoo,noting is working. I am constatly getting new bald spots it appears to always be active. Is there anything I can do to slow down the hair loss? I have kept my hair short for almost 20 years. I am tryin to let it grow back enough to be able to push the front part of my hair back to cover up the spots.
Autoimmune diseases are a known cause of hair loss and a difficult problem to control. To get control of the hair loss means getting control of the autoimmune disease. This requires the expert hands of a doctor specializing in such diseases, such as a dermatologist with a particular interest in this.
Hair transplantation works if the disease in the scalp has been inactive for a number of years and this is best determined by biopsies along the edge of the bald area where normal hair may exist. The presence of inflammatory cells may show active disease (from your history this is your case) so a number of areas must be biopsied (must wait until the disease becomes inactive). When the disease become inactive in the scalp (it may remain active elsewhere), biopsies will show that it is inactive. With inactivity present for at least 2 years, a series of test hair transplants will show if the skin will support hair transplant. Representative areas must be selected for the test transplants and FUE can be the source of the transplanted donor hair. Before embarking on this process, however, a supply/demand assessment must be made with goals clearly defined. With a disease only 4 years old, it is probable that you will have to wait some time before undergoing any type of restoration assessment and hopefully when it reverses, you will see some hair return in the affected areas as an indication that inactivity in the scalp may be on the horizon for you.
I have successfully transplanted a series of patients with inactive alopecia areata with nice results. I would suspect that you might be a candidate some day if you are fortunate enough for the process to stop progressing in your scalp. I have no other suggestions for the moment other than continue with your treating physician and have hope.