The lupus skin rash, sometimes called the “butterfly rash” is associated with this serious autoimmune disease. Lupus was named after the wolf for its voracious ability to damage the body severely and quickly. In addition to the rash on face it can cause fatigue, mental illness, heart problems, skin problems, kidney disease, nervous system problems, fevers, hair loss, blood vessel problems, swelling and anemia.
Lupus strikes women at a much higher incidence than men. Over eighty five percent of the people in the United States with lupus, the skin rash is one of the few telltale signs of lupus. It is distinctive and easy to recognize whereas other symptoms can be often confused with heart disease, mental illness, and nervous system disorders. The lupus butterfly rash narrows at the bridge of the nose and spreads across the cheeks of the face. It is often red and can also be found on the upper body, shoulders and arms in some people. The rash is commonly very hard on the hand with flaky red spots that can bleed and pustule. It is not uncommon for lupus sufferers to pick at their hands around the nails due to the discomfort. It is best to try to control this temptation since these sore spots scab over and bleed fairly often. The rash on the shoulders tends to have similar issues with pus, bleeding and scabbing issues.
Many African-American women suffer from lupus – their numbers are disproportionately high compared to the national average. In auto immune disease the body attacks itself. Other autoimmune diseases include multiple sclerosis and psoriasis. Many are hoping that the drug Benlysta will be approved shortly as the trials with this have been very promising for lupus sufferers.