Lupus results in a number of skin problems. The classical skin lupus is actually a skin problem involving rash in the shape of a butterfly. This rash is sometimes similar to a mild blush and in other cases is quite red and can be seen to occur across the bridge of a person’s nose. This gives the rash a butterfly like appearance.
Skin lupus characterized by rash is seen in systemic form of lupus and in this type problems involving the other organs within the body are also involved. In fact the presence of this rash during the beginning stages of the disease allow the doctors in diagnosing the condition. The appearance of butterfly rashes depends on the extent to which the underlying lupus is active. However this rash does not leave any scars once it starts healing.
Discoid lupus is a skin lupus where other organs within the body are not affected. In fact this kind of lupus can be observed in patches on the body. In this kind of lupus the patches are defined, thick and rather scaly. These patches can also be itchy and red. When these patches heal scarring may occur and where the skin is dark the pigmentation of the skin may be lost resulting in white areas. If this occurs on a person’s scalp then it can result in a person losing hair since with the healing of patches permanent bald areas may be left behind.
Another skin lupus may involve a rash that may be seen in the areas of the body that are exposed to the sun. In this form of rash scaly patches may be observed and these eventually grow in size and form circular areas that eventually heal and there is no scarring in this case. People suffering from lupus may have mild to extreme rashes.
With lupus some people may experience inflammation of fat underneath the skin. This may result in red lumps underneath the skin that are tender and these eventually heal with time and may result in dimpling of skin once they heal completely. Skin lupus may also include cases where the blood vessels within the skin are affected. The blood vessels may become inflamed and this is called vasculitis.
Vasculities can also cause red spots on the feet and hands of the person. In lupus the blood flow within the blood vessels may become rather sluggish and in these individuals the skin may have a mottled appearance that looks like a net. Lupus also results in the skin becoming extremely sensitive to any sun exposure. The reasons for lupus affecting the skin are not really known. It is however known that proteins and antibodies are deposited in a person’s skin while fighting infection and this can cause inflammation. With skin lupus problems it is also important to understand that the protein in the skin of the patients suffering from lupus has greater sensitivity towards ultraviolet rays and this can cause inflammation.
Sufferers of skin lupus problems should avoid skin exposure and wear long sleeves. It is also advisable to use sun block agents and regular medical attention and treatment for this problem should be sought.