Lupus is a disease that is not known by many people in society, and cutaneous lupus is a problem that is even less well-known. In this article, well provide the answers to some of the more commonly asked questions that you might have about cutaneous lupus.
Diagnosing Cutaneous Lupus
While it is up to a doctor to make a full diagnosis, there are some symptoms of the disease that may be noticeable that can cause you to be concerned about the presence of the illness. The most notable symptom present in those with cutaneous lupus is the presence of rashes throughout the body.
One type of rash that is particular indicative of a case of cutaneous lupus is known as a butterfly rash in which an individuals cheeks and bridge of the nose are covered with a rash, resembling the shape of a butterfly with its wings spread. The rash may be a simple tint to the skin, or it may be a drastic one that is raised off of the surface of the skin.
Going along with this symptom is usually a case of photosensitivity in which an individual is particularly susceptible to skin problems caused by exposure to the ultraviolet light of the sun. Ulcers may also be present in the mouth or the nose of an individual that is afflicted with cutaneous lupus.
Since the types of skin rashes that occur when an individual has a case of cutaneous lupus can vary to a great degree, it can be difficult for a doctor to clearly diagnose. To that end, doctors often take a biopsy of a rash in order to properly identify the problem that is present.
What makes Cutaneous Lupus Different from Systemic Lupus?
Systemic lupus is a type of disease in which the immune system attacks the organs of the body. In a case of cutaneous lupus, the immune system will only attack the skin, leaving the other organs of the body unaffected.
For that reason, systemic lupus is a much more dangerous form of the disease than cutaneous lupus since it can result in serious organ damage as well as death. However, a case of cutaneous lupus may develop into the more deadly systemic lupus, although it is a problem that only occurs in roughly ten percent of all cases of cutaneous lupus.
Of all cases of lupus that are diagnosed, seventy percent relate to cutaneous lupus or systemic lupus. Amongst that seventy percent, approximately fifty percent of the cases are systemic lupus and fifty percent are cutaneous lupus.
If you think that you may be experiencing a case of cutaneous lupus, you should speak with a qualified dermatologist that is properly experienced when it comes to dealing with skin conditions such as cutaneous lupus.