Lupus Erythematosus

What is Lupus Erythematosus?

Lupus Erythematosus, commonly referred to as lupus, is an autoimmune disorder that affects many different parts of the body. The immune system, which normally helps to protect the body from germs and other invading substances, becomes confused and begins to attack healthy cells and tissues. Lupus can affect the skin, lungs, heart, kidneys, and joints, as well as other organs and systems of the body.

Types of Lupus Erythematosus

There are two common types of lupus, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE).

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) impacts many parts of the body, including the skin, joint, muscles, heart, lungs, and blood. It has an unpredictable flare-up and remission pattern.
  • Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) primarily affects the skin. It is characterized by scaly rashes and scarring.

Symptoms of Lupus Erythematosus

Symptoms of lupus vary from person to person. They may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Skin rash
  • Fever
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Chest pain
  • Hair loss
  • Anemia
  • Facial swelling
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Organ damage

Treatment for Lupus Erythematosus

The primary treatment for lupus is medications that suppress the immune system. Other treatments may include, anti-inflammatory drugs, antimalarial medications, high dose of steroids, immunosuppressive medications, and physical therapy.

Additionally, lifestyle changes such as stress reduction and getting ample rest can help manage symptoms. It is also important to avoid exposure to sunlight and wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 when outdoors.