Lupus which is also known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic inflammatory disease of unknown etiology. It is characterized by inflammation in many different organs and tissues. The annual incidence in United States is estimated to be 2 to 8 one lac of population. More than 85 % of the patients of lupus are females and the highest incidence is seen between 20 to 50 years of age.
This autoimmune disease can affect the internal organs, skin and joints. Like any other auto immune disease, the immune system of the body reacts with its own system manifesting various symptoms and health issues.
Lupus rash is the skin symptom of lupus disease. More than 90 % of the patients suffer from skin rash as one of its symptom. Lupus rash is also called butterfly rash if it occurs on the face and it extends on the cheeks and the bridge of the nose. In almost all the cases, lupus rash is triggered due to exposure to sunlight. This form of lupus rash occurs in acute cutaneous lupus, it persists for few days before subsiding without scarring.
Lupus Rash Causes and Symptoms
The exact cause of lupus rash is unknown. Genetic hormonal and environmental factors have been implicated as the cause for skin rash in lupus disease. However in many patients it has been observed that there is no predisposition to genetics. Apart from the classical malar area, rash is characteristically seen in front and behind the ears. When the lupus rash affects the larger area of the skin it may cause hyper pigmentation, crusting and scaling. The areas often involved are face, neck, scalp and shoulders. The common symptom of lupus rash is red skin patches, urticaria, vasculitis, skin rash, raised painful skin nodules. Lupus rash in the scalp can cause temporary hair loss unless there is scarring on the scalp which results into scarring alopecia.
Lupus Rash Treatment
SLE ranges in severity from a mild disease with rash to more serious illness with renal failure and neurological damage. As it is a chronic disease, the rash may often recur. It is difficult to treat the rash; however there are natural measures to alleviate the symptoms.
- Avoidance to sun exposure.
- Good nutrition, adequate rest.
- Avoid excessive fatigue and stress.
- Extracts from pine bark or grape seed extract taken twice in a day in 50 milligrams is said to be effective in alleviating lupus rash symptoms.
- Turmeric is also effective in reducing the intensity and suffering caused due to lupus rash.
- Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables. Eat sardines and salmons which are rich in fish oils omega 3 as it helps in reducing inflammation and heal skin conditions of lupus.
- Drink enough water so as to flush out the toxins.
- Do not eat red meat, colas and food containing artificial sweeteners.