Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect various parts of the body, including the skin, joints, heart, lungs, blood, kidneys and brain. Normally the body’s immune system makes proteins called antibodies, to protect the body against viruses, bacteria, and other foreign materials. These foreign materials are called antigens.

If you have lupus, your immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues by mistake. This can damage your joints, skin, blood vessels and organs. There are many kinds of lupus. The most common type, systemic lupus erythematosus, affects many parts of the body. Discoid lupus causes a rash that doesn’t go away. Subacute cutaneous lupus causes sores after being out in the sun. Another type can be caused by medication. Neonatal lupus, which is rare, affects newborns.

Symptoms of Lupus

For most lupus sufferers, including Jane, lupus is a mild disease affecting only a few organs. For others, it may cause serious and even life-threatening problems.

No two cases of lupus are exactly alike. Signs and symptoms may come on suddenly or develop slowly, may be mild or severe, and may be temporary or permanent. Most people with lupus experience episodes called “flares” of worsening signs and symptoms that eventually improve or even disappear completely for a time.
Lupus can be hard to diagnose because its symptoms can vary from one person to the next. The symptoms can also make lupus look like certain other diseases. For example, like Chantelle, people with lupus may feel weak and fatigued. They may have muscle aches, loss of appetite, swollen glands, and hair loss. Sometimes they have abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Most people with lupus develop skin rashes.These rashes are often an important clue to the diagnosis. In addition to the butterfly rash over the cheeks and bridge of the nose, other common skin symptoms include skin sores or flaky red spots on the arms, hands, face, neck, or back; mouth or lip sores; and a scaly, red, or purple raised rash on the face, neck, scalp, ears, arms, and chest.

Causes of Lupus

Lupus is not known it is likely that there is no single cause but a combination of genetic, environmental, and possibly hormonal factors that work together to cause the disease. Lupus is not contagious-you can’t catch it from someone. No specific “lupus gene” has been found, but it does run in families.

The causes of lupus are not completely understood, the disease is believed to result from an interplay of genetic, environmental (such as ultraviolet light, stress, infections, certain drugs and chemicals) and hormonal factors.

Although an identical twin is much more likely to have lupus if her identical sibling has lupus, the likelihood of developing the disease in the unaffected twin is not 100%. Despite the nearly identical genetic makeup of identical twins, the probability of the unaffected twin developing the disease if the other twin has it is around 30-50% or less.

Sun exposure (ultraviolet light) is a known environmental agent that can worsen rashes of lupus patients and sometimes trigger a flare of the entire disease.

Doctors don’t know what causes autoimmune diseases, such as lupus. It’s likely that lupus results from a combination of your genetics and your environment. Doctors believe that you may inherit a predisposition to lupus, but not lupus itself. Instead, people with an inherited predisposition for lupus may only develop the disease when they come into contact with something in the environment that can trigger lupus, such as a medication or a virus.


3 thoughts on “Lupus Rash On Legs Treatment

  1. Shelly H

    can someone who has lupus give me some advice?
    for the past 5 months…i’ve had a spreading rash on my body…started on my chest (for about 3 months)…didn’t panic about that….but then it spread to my leg, shoulders and arms. I then booked an apt with a well know dermatologist practice in the area. I saw a young trainee and she told me i had ringworm…gave me 2 weeks worth of medication and asked me to get blood work done.
    this didn’t work so when i went back the 2 weeks later…another doctor met with me and said i’m sorry but you don’t have ringworm…we believe its lupus. she said we need to take a skin sample to do a biopsy and will get back to you within 10 days.
    friday willl be the 10th day…but since i’ve met with them 5 days ago….its gotten even worse…should i call up today ????
    also what is the treatment ???
    what helps to cover up the rash ??? spray tan ????
    i just need to know as much info as possible about lupus…i’ve googled of course but i want to hear from someone who has it.
    i have had hair loss….some fatigue (but maybe thats in my head )…and my wrists do ache in winter time……i’m 28 years old !! female
    i know everyone talks about the butterfly rash…i do not have this. – no rash on my face of yet.
    just the other areas i mentioned…starting to see tiny spots coming on my hands and feet.

  2. Lady Prism

    People diagnosed with Lupus… need help and info!?
    I do not wish to write a paper about all the details and symptoms, so I’ll just summarize, then ask my question.

    Over the last 5 years, I have had symptoms of EXTREME fatigue, joint pain, canker sores, mild hair loss, etc. I am also anemic (which no amount of iron or B vitamins changes in the slightest). In this time, I have also had a false positive Syphilis test, and chronic kidney stones (3 in 7 years).

    In August of 08, I developed a cough that STILL has not gone away. I have been to TONS of doctors and been diagnosed with pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, allergies, etc, and put on more antibiotics than I care to think of… all the antibiotic treatments actually made me feel worse.

    I also developed a sudden, strange rash on my leg after being out in the sun for a couple days… which also has not gone away. And more recently, I have a light butterfly rash on my face.

    Last month, I finally found a doctor that said “Wow… 8 of the 11 symptoms of Lupus… let’s get you tested.” I was x-rayed to check for Pleurisy (in the lung tissue), and put through about 10 blood tests (also checking for lyme disease, just in case).

    Even after the false positive Syphilis, and the anemia, I tested negative on the ANA test. Kind of. I tested higher than normal, but apparently too low to make a full diagnosis of Lupus.

    What does this mean exactly? Is there such a thing as borderline Lupus? And I know there are a few other diseases that mimic Lupus… but what are they? I know that Fibromyalgia is one of the “mimic” diseases, but would that also account for the blood disorders that I DO have and the rashes?

    I do have another appointment with my doctor in a couple weeks, and I also know that making a Lupus diagnosis can sometimes take a while… but has anyone had the negative ANA issue and still been diagnosed with SLE? And what was your experience… anything I should ask my doctor to look for on the next visit?

    Thanks!
    Oh, they did also check my thyroid… everything normal there.

    And should I mention, also, that my symptoms began during pregnancy and have gotten progressively worse? This has been going for about 5 years… and just now I’ve screamed loud enough that I am being taken seriously.

    1. Anonymous

      Unfortunately it may take years to DX Lupus. I had all of the symptoms you do and saw a Rheumatologist for about 5 years before my ANA was positive. In the 5 years I also had a pos. Scleroderma and Sjogrens. All along my doctor said that probably I would develop Lupus buy it was a wait and see. Keep a diary of your symptoms and continue to see your doctor. Hope this helps.

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