Does anyone have sores on their scalp? If so what do you do? It just occured to me that this is probably another in my mixed bag of symptoms. I just never put 2 and 2 together till now.
I had very bad Lupus Lesions in my scalp which led to the loss of most of my hair. The only thing that helped me was taking Plaquenil!! Are you taking Plaquenil?
I developed sores on my scalp and on my neck when all the sudden I was allergic to regular shampoo. Now I have to use either special shampoo and conditioner I order through the pharmacy without a prescpription (DHL Clear Shampoo and Conditioning Rinse) or something from the health food store that is natural and free of perfumes and dyes. Most likely you aren't having the same problem I was, but switching to a more mild shampoo may help. Something to try anyway.
Your scalp is basically skin covered with hair, so it can be affected by lupus just like the rest of your skin. You can have discoid or other lesions, or the same type of sore you get in your mouth. If the sores are itchy or painful, you should definitely ask your doctor about treating them. Be careful about using blow dryers, hot rollers, or alcohol-based mousses or gels until your scalp heals - you can make the sores worse.
I get some relief from using a shampoo with australian tea tree oil - I try to avoid shampoos made with sodium lauryl sulfate, which is a detergent and seems to really irritate my scalp. You can use clear calamine lotion or some plain liquid mylanta (the antacid kind) to dab on the sores. It's generally not a good idea to use hydrogen peroxide or hydrocortisone based creams on an open sore - it can cause tissue damage and prolong the healing time. Some people are very sensitive to the ingredients in shampoos so it may help to use a hypoallergenic shampoo like neutrogena, or ask your doctor what he recommends.
A lot of natural or herbal shampoos contain chamomile as an ingredient - you should stay away from this if you have hay fever or ragweed allergy, chamomile can trigger an allergic reaction.
Thanks everybody for all the good suggestions. I currently am on Plaquenil 600 mg a day. I am also loosing tons of hair. Thankfully my hair is dark and curly so its not noticeable yet. I called my Rheum doc today and now I have to go to derm for a scalp biopsy! I know its for my own good but everytime I go there the doctor is always cutting something off me and stitching me back up. I resemble the walking wounded.
I agree - I even hate the word biopsy
It seems like sooner or later we would run out of parts for the docs to take pieces of - every time I think I've had every biopsy known to man, my doc comes up with another one.
I hope your biopsy at least gives you some answers - one consolation, your hair does grow back!
Don't forget when you're out in the sun you have to protect your head too - hats and sun-protective shampoo!
Sleep problems / scalp sores
During my bad flare in early Sept., I had severe itching in my scalp which developed into sores from me scratching so much. I was put on Atarax which helped when benedryl didn't. This must one of the many typical symptoms of flare up that I am learning about.
ALSO, I have a question about sleep. I am having and have been having problems both getting to sleep and staying asleep. Even prescription sleep aids don't quite get me through the night. Is this typical of Lupus and or the use of Prednisone?
Prednisone acts almost like a stimulant in many people - it can make you feel very hyper and nervous or wired, like you've had a whole pot of coffee. It can definitely affect your sleep - I've been known to be housecleaning at 2:00 am while on high dose prednisone. Sleep disturbances are also very common in lupus and in fibromyalgia, which many lupus patients also have.
Some of the prescription sleep medicines come in a controlled release form like Ambien CR, for people who have trouble staying asleep. I generally have the opposite problem during a flare - I'm so tired I have trouble staying awake.