Lupus Rash-Pictures, Symptoms, Types, Causes


Lupus rash is considered one of the symptoms of Lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease involving the immune system in which the body’s immune cells attack the body itself because it cannot determine the difference between body’s own healthy cells and the harmful toxins invading it. The antibodies which are used to defend the body against antigens will become autoantibodies attacking the system’s own cells. Usually, people affected with lupus has lupus rash in their faces and other parts of the body. The disease may affect both men and women but women have more chances of acquiring lupus than men, usually affecting those aged between 15 and 45 years of age.

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What are the Different Types of Lupus?

The different forms of lupus are Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid Lupus Erythematosus, Neonatal Lupus and Drug induced lupus.

  • Cutaneous Lupus or Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE) is a severe condition involving only the skin. The skin will manifest lupus rash or specifically known in DLE as discoid rash. The lupus rash or discoid rash can be found on the scalp, face and other parts of the body. DLE is more common in women than in men and it has lesser chances of becoming a systemic disease involving the internal organs.
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a more severe type of disease compared to Discoid Lupus Erythematosus. SLE not just affects the skin, joints and tendons but also the internal organs, such as the heart and the lungs. Lupus rash can likewise be seen in patients with SLE.
  • Neonatal Lupus is not a common occurrence.  This happens when the mother with lupus passes on the autoantibodies to the baby. The fetus inside the womb can have lupus rash and other problems involving the heart and the blood. The newborn baby may manifest lupus rash as well, but it will disappear after 6 months.
  • Drug Induced Lupus is a disease wherein an individual has adverse reactions to certain medications.  The person may manifest lupus rash or other symptoms similar to that of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Some drugs that can induce lupus are antihypertensive medications known as hydralazine, anti-seizure medications and anti-arrhythmic drugs known as procainamide. When the person stops taking these medications, the drug induced lupus will subside.

What are the Causes of Lupus?

Lupus is said to be an autoimmune disorder because its existence cannot be determined. It is believed that lupus is inherited because the disease runs in the family too. However, the experts have not yet determined the specific inherited gene that can cause lupus. The other suspected cause of lupus is a stressed out body because the immune system becomes weak once the body is stressed. Having infections such as cytomegalovirus and hepatitis, taking antibiotic medications, smoking, or even direct and prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause lupus rash to appear. Lupus is primarily common in women than in men due to the hormone estrogen, as symptoms usually appear during pregnancy or before the start of menstruation.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Lupus?

Since there are different types of lupus, the symptoms may vary from one type to another. Mostly, patients with lupus have symptoms involving a few organs only, but if there is lupus complication then there would be more organs involved.  Lupus symptoms include the following:

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  • Lupus rash – About 95% of cases of Lupus display lupus rash as an initial symptom. The lupus rash appears in many forms. It can be a butterfly shaped rash seen on the face, scaling rash which can be seen all over the body, and oval shaped rashes seen in different parts of the body.
  • Generalized weakness and fatigue is felt due to the weakened immune system.
  • Photosensitivity
  • Joint pains or arthralgia leading to arthritis
  • Telangiectasis or discolored mark on the skin of the legs
  • Raynaud’s Phenomenon- This is characterized by the change in the color of the body to white or blue when exposed to stress or cold temperatures.
  • Alopecia or hair loss
  • Infections – Because of the altered immune response of the immune system, the body becomes prone to infections.
  • Fever, edema and redness of the skin can be observed.
  • Alteration of blood clotting factors causes unexplained bruising and bleeding.
  • Anemia – This occurs when the red blood cells cannot deliver enough oxygen to the tissues of the body due to low red blood cell and hemoglobin counts.
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain can be experienced.
  • Seizures
  • Shortness of breath
  • Memory loss and confusion

Once the patient observes the initial symptom, which is the lupus rash, the patient must see the physician for diagnosis and management. Lupus can be controlled with some treatment methods.  Prompt action is crucial to avoid complications from happening for these may lead to death.

Lupus Rash Pictures

Check out the photos of lupus rash on the hands, face and legs

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