9 Skin Problems Related to Systemic Lupus

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Systemic lupus is an autoimmune disease that can strike any area of the body, but typically involves organs. The skin is the body’s largest organ and this is where many lupus patients experience problems related to the disease.

There are many ways that the disease can manifest on the skin, according to hubpages.com and lupus.us.com.

Here are a few of the most common lupus-related skin problems:

Malar Rash
The hallmark of lupus is the butterfly rash, also known as a malar rash. This distinctive rash presents as a redness stretching across the nose and cheeks and resembles the shape of a butterfly.

Lesions can vary in shape and size and some may leave a scar once they have healed. For most lupus sufferers, the lesions are not painful but can be itchy.

Many lupus patients will find that they are unable to tolerate ultraviolet light, such as sun rays or indoor UV lighting. Exposure to UV lighting will cause skin irritation and leaves patients susceptible to sunburn.

MORE: Nine important facts about lupus you may not know.

Calcinosis is characterized by deposits of calcium on the skin, these will look like small white lumps.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon 
Raynaud’s Phenomenon is a condition where the blood vessels in the hands and feet become narrowed. This means that cold temperatures can cause discoloration of the hands and painful tingling sensations.

Painful ulcers can appear in the mouth, nasal cavity and even the vagina. Lupus patients may also suffer from digital ulcers.

MORE: Five serious complications that can arise because of an autoimmune disease.

Vasculitis is characterized by inflamed blood vessels which bleed into the surrounding tissue. This manifests as small reddish-purple spots on the skin. If severe, they can lead to blood clots and skin ulcers.

Livedo Reticualris 
Livedo reticualris is a skin condition associated with poor circulation and shows as netted purple mottling of the skin. (Source: Mayo Clinic)

Palmar erythema
This skin disorder affects the palms of the hands, particularly at the base of the thumb and little finger. The patient will experience a redness and heat coming from the palms.

MORE: Understanding the basics of lupus.

Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.