There are a variety of ways that cutaneous lupus rashes can appear. The distinctive rash is called the "butterfly rash," which is a rash that extends across the cheeks of the face and the bridge of the nose. It can be flat or raised; it can be bright red or it can be just a mild blushing, light pink coloration to the skin. It appears on the face in a pattern that looks like a butterfly; the wings are beneath both eyes and the body of the butterfly covers the bridge of the nose.
Another classic rash found in cutaneous lupus is the discoid rash. This rash is coin-shaped or oval in shape, like a disk and it is seen on areas of the skin that are exposed to sunlight. Discoid lesions (sores) tend to be red and raised and become scaly. When they heal they can leave behind a scar. These rashes can also result in a change in coloring of the skin, making the area around the lesion either lighter or darker in color. These discoid lesions may appear on the scalp; on the face in a butterfly distribution; or, as mentioned earlier, in areas where the skin receives sun exposure, especially, for example, the V of the neck. Discoid lupus erythematosus (LE) lesions are usually painless and typically do not itch