Hope Foundation - Creating an awareness of Lupus, Sickle Cell and Arthritis

What do the rashes look like?

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

Lupus and the skin

  • What are the symptoms of cutaneous lupus? +

    The symptoms of cutaneous lupus may include a variety of different looking skin rashes, photosensitivity (where exposure to ultra-violet light Read More
  • What do the rashes look like? +

    There are a variety of ways that cutaneous lupus rashes can appear. The distinctive rash is called the "butterfly rash," Read More
  • How is cutaneous lupus diagnosed? +

    Cutaneous lupus, because of the great deal of variability in the way that the skin rashes may appear, can be Read More
  • How is cutaneous lupus treated? +

    Treatment of cutaneous lupus may include corticosteroid creams or ointments applied to the rash or lesions. If the lesion does Read More
  • How is cutaneous lupus different from systemic lupus? +

    Cutaneous lupus is confined to the skin, whereas systemic lupus may involve not only the skin but any of the Read More
  • Can cutaneous lupus turn into systemic lupus? +

    In approximately 10% of the cases of cutaneous lupus, it evolves and develops into systemic lupus. However, this can't be Read More
  • I have hair loss due to several scars on my scalp. All are about the size of silver dollars. Is there anything to help this kind of hair loss? +

    If biopsy results indicate advanced scarring on the scalp, then there is little chance of bringing back significant amounts of Read More
  • Will the drugs used to treat baldness help the hair loss due to lupus? +

    Suppressing the disease with medication helps hair to re-grow. Read More
  • Is there anything that can be done to cover the lesions (sores) that show-up on my face? +

    Yes. There are make-up products available commercially which may be helpful in this situation. Fallene's Total Block® SPF 60 Foundation Read More
  • Can lupus cause either hives or a sensation of burning in the skin? +

    Lupus may cause hives. Itching can also occur but this is not a common finding. The sensation of itching is Read More
  • What is photosensitivity and what are photosensitivity reactions? +

    Photosensitivity is sensitivity to the UV (ultra-violet) rays from the sunlight and other UV light sources. Photosensitivity reactions typically include Read More
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