What Is a Lupus Rash?

In regard to lupus, the skin places a significant role. The skin is one of the body parts most commonly affected by systemic lupus erythematosus. In addition the skin is sometimes a key element in the diagnosis of the disease.

Specifically there are two varieties of lupus rash (or rashes that occur as symptoms of lupus). The first is called malar rash. This is a rash that occurs on the face. It is butterfly-shaped and is usually located across the cheeks and nose. The second is called discoid rash. This is a skin rash that is characterized by raised red patches. Malar rash may occur with SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus) or more commonly with cutaneous lupus erythematosus. The second occurs with discoid lupus erythematosus. These are not the only three forms of lupus either. Each has symptoms that are relatively specific to that form as well. In addition to rashes photosensitivity is not an uncommon symptom of the lupus. In some cases exposure to sunlight be cause new rashes or worsen existing cases of lupus rash. In addition lesions may occur with exposure to the sun in some cases of lupus.

Most of the people that develop lupus will experience some form of skin rash. In some cases these rashes may point to a diagnosis. In other cases a less obvious examination of the skin can help to confirm diagnosis. A skin biopsy is sometimes used to determine whether an individual is suffering from lupus. The presence of the two forms of lupus rash listed above is also used to diagnose the disease.

Doctor's use what is referred to as the eleven criteria to conclusively diagnose lupus! Among the eleven criteria are those two rashes. Some of the other criteria include a specific form of arthritis considered to be a symptom of lupus, the presence of antinuclear antibodies, photosensitivity, and other symptoms.

Each case of lupus generally merits an individual treatment plan. In many cases planning to prevent flare ups of the symptoms are initiated. Also prevalent in treatment is the specific treatment of symptoms. A doctor should be involved in the planning of treatment for symptoms of lupus.