Diseases and Conditions

The Most Common Symptoms of Lupus


Lupus is a debilitating autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack itself. This means that every organ, including the joints, heart, kidneys, brain, blood, and skin are considered the enemy by the immune system, because it is unable to differentiate between foreign invaders from the body’s cells. When these flare ups happen, inflammation and painful swelling become a part of everyday life for those with Lupus.

If you think that you might have the autoimmune disease known as Lupus, here are the 15 symptoms to check for:

Skin Rash

Those who suffer from any type of autoimmune disease will often have problems with skin rashes. With Lupus, the rash is called a butterfly or malar rash that forms on the face, arms, ears, and chest. Usually, it starts out localized on the face but will eventually grow in size. On the face, the rash spreads over the cheeks and across the nose, taking the form of a blotchy, red butterfly with open wings. The rash doesn’t itch or cause pain, but it can affect self-esteem. The color will worsen with prolonged exposure to sunlight and heat. Since butterfly rash is caused by an autoimmune disease, topical treatments are ineffective.

Some patients will have hives, also known as urticaria. Hives will be akin to the allergic reaction and be itchy. Bouts of hives can last 24 hours.

Additionally, there are three skin diseases that are connected to Lupus, including

• Chronic cutaneous lupus (also called chronic discoid lupus)

• Acute cutaneous lupus

• Subacute cutaneous lupus

Lupus can also cause vitiligo, a condition that causes lighter colored patches of skin to appear due to damage to the pigment in skin becoming damaged.