Lupus erythematosus is a condition that affects the skin and may be a starting point of the systemic lupus disease. Lupus erythematosus will manifest through skin rashes on the face and ring shaped skin lesions on the rest of the body. These rashes and lesions may be controlled, and you also need to have a suitable lifestyle that will prevent the disease from becoming systemic.
Living with Rashes and Lesions
The rashes that are typical for lupus erythematosus are butterfly shaped and appear on the cheeks, but you may find other rashes on the body as well. The rashes may be controlled through the administration of oral steroids and topical steroid creams. There are also a few natural remedies that may be used to lighten these rashes (i.e. sour cream or lemon juice).
There will also be a few ring shaped lesions that will cause the skin to flake; these lesions are more common on the chest and the upper back. These lesions may be controlled by using a rich moisturizer cream; opt for a cream that doesn’t contain any fragrances or other chemicals that may irritate the skin.
If the rashes and the lesions cause scars, there are laser treatments that may be applied.
Sun exposure is not recommended if you are affected by lupus erythematosus. The sun will trigger the appearance of rashes and skin lesions. For this reason, you need to reduce your sun exposure, especially when the sun is strong (between 10 AM and 4 PM) and wear sunscreen or large hats.
In addition, during the sunny months, you may also get Chloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine, which are anti malarial drugs, but may also be used to reduce the occurrence of rashes associated with lupus erythematosus. The lengthy administration of Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine may have side effects, such as vision problems, so you will need to have an optical examination at least twice per year.
If you have lupus erythematosus, you should get blood tests on a regular basis. Visit your physician at least 2 times per year, so that he can check if the disease has evolved or became systemic.
You should also consult your physician whenever you notice abnormalities (i.e. more frequent urination, chest pain, heart palpitations).
Your diet should be as healthy as possible; include a lot of fruits and vegetables, and avoid frozen foods and fatty meats. Consult your physician and get some vitamins.
A regular exercise program is recommended to maintain a healthy body. However, if you have lupus, you should avoid strenuous activities. Opt for lighter forms of exercise such as yoga, Pilates or walking.
In addition to a healthy diet and a suitable exercise program, you should also consider removing bad habits from your life; quit smoking and avoid drinking.
Don’t take any drugs that are not necessary, and always consult a physician if you require medication for different diseases you may have.
You may also attend lupus erythematosus support groups where you can get valuable input from other people that are affected by the same disease as you.