Lupus is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the body's own immune system attacks its own tissues. This may lead to inflammation, swelling, pain and tissue damage. Patients with lupus may experience more serious conditions later on that may include problems with the kidneys, heart, lungs and nervous system.
The exact cause of lupus is not fully understood. Some scientists and researchers believe that people may be born with genes that affect their immune system and how it works. These people may be more likely to get lupus. Lupus is not contagious.
Triggering Lupus Flares
What triggers lupus flares in one patient may not trigger lupus in another. Patients are encouraged to speak with a doctor to determine what may trigger their lupus attacks, although they should also be aware of certain environmental triggers. Possible triggers include ultraviolet light (especially from the sun), hormones, certain medications and chemicals such as trichloroethylene. Smoking may lead to lupus and may worsen the condition, while infections such as Hepatitis C, cytomegalovirus and parvovirus may trigger lupus as well. Epstein-Barr virus has been attributed to lupus in children. Patients are encouraged to learn more about lupus and its possible causes. A licensed healthcare professional is the best resource for further information involving lupus. SkinCareGuide.com also offers further information about lupus, its symptoms and its treatments.