While there are only four major types of lupus, there are many different lupus variants under the different types. One variant is known as chilblain lupus, and it falls under the discoid lupus erythematosus classification. Discoid lupus, or cutaneous lupus, is a type of lupus that only affects the skin. Chilblain lupus erythematosus also effects the skin, but in a different way. While people with discoid lupus usually experience a rash on their face and body, patients with chilblain lupus will have nodules on the extremities, such as their fingers and toes. These nodules may also occur on the nose, knees, calves, heels of the feet, and ears. The nodules are typically very swollen, and are usually purple, blue, or red in color. They may be tender or very painful to the touch, and they may also be itchy.
Exposure to the cold can exacerbate these nodules, so patients who have them should take proper care in cold weather. Infection can occur if the nodules become too dry and crack, so they should be monitored regularly and cleaned if necessary. New nodules should be reported to a physician so that they can be reported and monitored from the professional’s side as well.
Treatment for Chilblain Lupus
The nodules found in chilblain lupus are often caused by inflammation due to the chronic disease. Because of this, many doctors will want to try to use anti inflammatory medications to try to reduce the swelling in the nodules and keep more nodules from occurring. This can help to reduce the pain associated with the nodules and it can improve the mobility in the hands and feet. Steroids may also be tried. Due to the risk of side effects with prescription medications, most doctors will want to have regular check in visits with any patients taking prescription medications for chilblain lupus until they are sure they are on the right dosage and the symptoms are being well controlled.
After a treatment plan is started, medical professionals will still want to keep an eye on patients with chilblain lupus. This is because some people with chilblain lupus may go on to develop systemic lupus erythematosus. This is a different type of lupus that affects different parts of the body. If someone develops this type of lupus, their treatment plan will need to be adjusted.