Types of Lupus Erythematosus: Panniculitis

There are different types of Lupus Erythematosus. One of these types of lupus is panniculitis. Lupus erythematosus panniculitis is the inflammation of the subcutaneous fat under the epidermis of the skin. Panniculitis usually affects young women around the age of 25. The cause of this disease is usually due to trauma to the body or even a common cold. There are certain medications that have been known to cause lupus. It may also be seen in newborn babies due to trauma of the mother's body temperature changing from cold to hot in excess.

Signs and Symptoms of Panniculitis

The first sign of panniculitis may be a fever or signs of swelling in the joints. Then the patient may develop nodules on the epidermis of the skin which may or may not be tender and painful. In some cases, the patient may see some draining of the nodule with an oily substance or pus. These nodules or lesions may last for just a few days or up to eight weeks. After the disappearance of the lesions, the skin may appear to have a permanent discoloration to it where the lesions were. This may be a one time problem or may relapse periodically. In more severe cases of panniculitis, the patient may develop liver problems, bleeding problems and pancreatic disease. The diagnosis of panniculitis needs to be done by taking a biopsy of the skin. Then a definite cause of the disease is searched for. If it appears that the disease is systemic, or supplies parts of the body that receive blood through the artery, then there may be another underlying cause such as pancreatic cancer. If there is a more severe cause, more aggressive action will need to be taken.

Risk Factors for Developing Panniculitis

One of the risk factors for developing lupus panniculitiis is race. Depending on which race a person is can cause them to have a higher chance of developing lupus. African Americans and Hispanics are at at higher risk for developing lupus earlier in their life than other races. Other risk factors include being a woman between the ages of 15 to 45. Women who are pregnant are also at a higher risk of developing lupus during childbirth.

Treatment of Panniculitis

The most common type of treatment for panniculitis is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS. In the most severe cases the patent may be placed on chemotherapy drugs to treat it. There are also anti-malaria drugs, adrenal corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs that may be used for treatment.

Most people who develop lupus will eventually develop kidney disease, which may result in death due to kidney failure. It is best to seek treatment early for the best prognosis. If you have developed any symptoms linked to lupus or another type of illness, it is best to contact your doctor at the first sign to receive the easiest treatment available. Putting it off may make the situation worse.

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