What is lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can present in many different ways in the skin and other organs. For our purposes, we will focus on lupus in the skin. If lupus is present on the skin, it is important to see a dermatology provider as it can be affecting your other organs.

What causes lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease; therefore, the body attacks itself. Lupus can flare with any trigger to the immune system such as: sunlight, UV light, infection, medicines, stress, surgery, or a serious injury.

What are the signs and symptoms of cutaneous (skin) lupus?

Lupus can appear on the face as a red/pink butterfly rash, sore on the mouth or nose, scaly patch on the face, or rash on the back. Lupus flares can look similar to a sunburn.

Who is at risk for skin lupus?

Cutaneous (skin) lupus is most common in females 20-50 years of age.

Is lupus related to cancer?

If you have lupus you are at a higher risk for developing skin cancer, most commonly squamous cell carcinoma.

How is lupus diagnosed?

Lupus can be diagnosed with a skin biopsy and bloodwork.

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