Autoimmune Diseases like Lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects various parts of the body. Systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE, is one type of lupus, which can affect the patient’s joints, lungs and skin. When lupus impacts the skin, it is referred to as cutaneous lupus. Often, people who suffer from cutaneous lupus show signs of this disease on their skin in the form of widespread rashes on their back, scaly patches on their face, sunburn-like flare-ups on their body or scaly patches on their face.
Board-certified dermatologist and skin cancer specialist, Dr. Weitzbuch, can help individuals with rashes by determining whether their symptoms are caused by lupus or a non-related skin condition. It is common for people to mistake lupus rashes for an allergic reaction or rosacea. If the dermatologist diagnoses a patient with cutaneous lupus, there are treatments available to lessen the appearance and severity of these debilitating rashes:
- Create a tailored sun-protection plan.
- Demonstrate how to use makeup as a camouflage tool.
- Determine if the patient’s lupus affects other areas of his body.
- Develop a suitable treatment plan for the patient’s skin.
- Provide non-irritating skin care products.
People who have lupus are at an increased risk of getting certain cancers. This elevated risk is caused by the immunosuppressive drugs that patients must take to prevent the immune system from attacking the body’s tissues and major organs. These medications deregulate the immune system, making those who take it more prone to infections. Therefore, the dermatologist will check the patient’s skin for indicators of skin cancer during the appointment. The risk of cancer is especially high in lupus patients who suffer from discoid lupus, which causes chronic skin lesions. If discoid lupus sores occur inside of the patient’s mouth or on his lips, he has a higher risk of developing a type of cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.
Contact Calabasas Dermatology Center to learn more about the diagnoses and treatment options for such conditions affecting the health of your skin.