Lupus erythematosus is a skin condition that can affect many organs in your body including the skin. Two-thirds of people with lupus erythematous will have skin changes. Some types of lupus are limited to only the skin while other types of lupus affect a person’s entire body.
Lupus of the skin commonly appears as a rash that can look different depending on the type of lupus. Discoid lupus erythematosus commonly shows up as coin-shaped scaly white patches with red borders, often on sun-exposed areas such as the face, scalp, and ears, but can develop anywhere on the body. Those with discoid lupus erythematosus can also have sores inside the mouth nose and eyelids. Other types of lupus include subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus which consists of red, scaly skin which has thickened area on the arms, shoulders, neck and trunk that look similar to psoriasis. Acute cutaneous lupus erythematosus manifests as red areas of the skin that look like blushing or sunburn on the nose and cheeks and can sometimes look like a butterfly shape on the face. Lupus can also cause hair loss.
Treatment of lupus varies depending on the severity but always includes sun avoidance. Treatment options include prescription creams and corticosteroids, corticosteroid injections and for severe cases oral prednisone, methotrexate, and other oral medications. The dermatology professionals at Kentucky Dermatology can assess your skin and suggest treatment course specific to your skin care needs.