There are many types of rashes and each has its own characteristics and causes. One kind of facial rash is called a malar rash in the medical field, but it is more commonly known as the butterfly rash. The rash gets its unusual name from the fact that it always appears on the face where it spreads across both cheeks and the bridge of the nose, which forms a shape very similar to that of a butterfly.

Butterfly rashes are usually linked back to another condition called systemic lupus erythematosus, but this unique rash can also be a symptom of other disorders like Bloom Syndrome, rosacea, Pellagra and dermatomyositis. All have different causes and special tests have to be performed to find out the root of the problem. It has also been shown that certain activities can also trigger the appearance of a butterfly rash, though. This includes being in chlorinated water found in swimming pools, spending time outside, exposure to sunlight or even taking certain medications that cause an adverse reaction.

Besides the distinctive shape and the location of a butterfly rash, there are also other signs that appear. The rash itself is almost always reddish to purple in color and it sometimes appears to be scaly. Just how visible and scaly the rash is depends on how intense it is and the severity also determines just how discolored the skin will be. In mild cases of butterfly rash, the skin discoloration is mild, but in severe cases it is not unheard of for the rash to actually be bright red and climb up to and around the eyes.

Although a butterfly rash can look extremely irritated, it is fortunately not itchy or painful. People suffering from this type of rash, though, are often very self-conscious and feel uncomfortable going out when this rash breaks out since it is very visible. This unwanted attention from others can even lead to social problems in extreme cases.

The treatment of a butterfly rash is dependent upon the cause and that has to be determined before any medications can be prescribed. Since the causes range from nutrient deficiency to autoimmune disorders or even chromosomal disorders, it is necessary to have the right examinations and testing done. Specialists can help to determine if it is genetic or not, but the patient suffering from butterfly rashes can also help by keeping a journal on the outbreak. It is important for any doctor to know when the rash appears, what was being done when it occurred and even how long it lasts once it appears.

One of the most effective ways to deal with a butterfly rash is to take an anti-inflammatory drug. This almost always reduces the rash intensity and since there are several drugs in this class to choose from, it is possible to find one that will not cause the patient other negative side effects. Other options include dietary changes or applying topical creams. However, if the discoloration is not severe and the patient is not bothered by their appearance, the most recommended treatment is to simply wait for it to disappear.

2 thoughts on “Lupus Malar Rash Treatment

  1. Anonymous

    Need help for my biology assignment?
    A 45 year old man came to the emergency department complaining about shortness of breath, chest pain which is came to the emergency department complaining about shortness of breath, chest pain which is severe by deep breathing of one week duration. he had generalize easy fatigability, malaise,skin rash that worsens with sun exposure, fever and joint pain for about three weeks prior to his current complaint. Physical examination revealed the following:
    General appearance: Acutely sick looking, in sever cardiorespiratory distress
    Respiratory rate 32 , Heart rate 112, Blood pressure 110/68, Temperature 37.8 C
    He has erythematous malar rash, decreased air entry on both sides of the lung, there is pericardial friction rub on the pericardium.
    The knee and wrist joints are swollen and painful.

    The attending physician ordered the following lab tests with the impression of Systemic lupus erythematosus.
    White blood count elevated, ESR (Sedimentation Rate) very elevated, Xray bilateral pleaural and mild pericardial effusion
    ANA and Anti Ds antibody positive.
    Then the patient was started with high dose prednisolone by the intravenous route and responded well to treatment after a couple of weeks.

    .What are the organ systems affected in this patient
    do you think the prednisolone helped the patient?
    What is the pathophysiology behind this illness?

    1. Anonymous

      Lupus is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are when a persons own immune system messes up and doesn’t recognize part of the patients body and then attacks it as if it were an invader. This means, that the pathophysiology is that antibodies are created against the part of the patients own body. Normally, (normal physiology) antibodies are only created to recognize intruders, like viruses and bacteria. In systemic lupus erythematosus, the immune system generates antibodies against connective tissue, which is the stuff that holds your body together, like collagen, and cartilage.

      Prednisone should help the patient because it is a corticosteroid, which are drugs that regulate the immune system to reduce inflammation.

      If you want to read more, check out the Mayo Clinic’s website. It is a great resource for easy to understand info.

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