There are four main types of lupus, one of them being cutaneous lupus, also known as lupus of the skin.  This type of lupus is not as common as systemic lupus erythematosus, and it does not affect the entire body’s nervous system and organs like SLE does. The most common symptom of cutaneous lupus is the distinctive butterfly rash that spreads across the face. This is the one of the first symptoms most often seen in many types of lupus. This rash can be smooth or raised, and it can range from being bright red and very noticeable to being a light pink. This rash forms a butterfly shape by going across the cheeks and the bridge of the nose.

Another common symptom in cutaneous lupus is the discoid rash. This rash is oval shaped and can appear anywhere on the body. It is most likely to appear on skin that is exposed to sunlight. This rash can even happen on the scalp. This rash is usually raised, and it can become scaly. They are usually painless and not itchy. However, these discoid rashes can leave behind scars, and they can change the coloring of the skin.  Other types of rashes can occur as well, and they may resemble red blotches over large areas of the skin or even hives.

 

Treating Cutaneous Lupus

 

Since the only symptoms of cutaneous lupus involve skin rashes, it can usually be treated fairly easily.  A primary care physician can usually advice a patient with this type of lupus on the best forms of treatment and how they can avoid triggers. One of the most common triggers of these rashes is sunlight or florescent lighting. These types of light are ultraviolet light. People with cutaneous lupus often have photosensitivity to ultraviolet light. Too much exposure to this type of light can cause a rash to occur, so prevention is just as important as treatment.

Prevention can include several different things. One important thing for people with cutaneous lupus to consider is wearing protective clothing when in the sunlight. This can include things like a hat to protect the scalp, and long sleeved shirts and pants. An umbrella or a parasol can also be used on especially sunny days if you are going to be outdoors for an extended period of time. It is also important to use a sunscreen with an appropriate SPF.

 

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