If you have lupus, chances are good that you are no stranger to fatigue. It is one of the most common complaints among people with the disease.
Artist and children’s book illustrator Adjoa B., who asked that her last name be withheld to protect her privacy, knows what it's like.
“I do experience the fatigue,” says Adjoa, who was diagnosed with lupus in 1993. “By 8 p.m., I often feel like I need to go to bed.”
Now 54, the Annapolis, Md. resident says that she hasn't had the overwhelming fatigue...
You can also help prevent skin reactions, too. The best way is to use sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Skin Changes From Lupus
You can have skin lupus with or without having full-blown systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the most common kind of lupus. Be on the lookout for some of these rashes that can be caused by skin lupus:
Butterfly rash: Called a "malar" rash, this may spread over your nose and cheeks in the shape of a butterfly.
The butterfly rash can be just a faint blush or a very severe, scaly rash. The sun's UV rays can trigger it and make it worse.
Sores and rashes. Some may be coin-shaped (called discoid lupus). Or you may develop red, scaly patches or a red, ring-shaped rash, especially where your skin gets sun or other UV light.
The sores get worse without treatment. They usually don't itch or hurt, but they can cause scarring. If this happens on your scalp, you may get patches of long-term baldness.
Small, red, coin-shaped sores. These are caused by exposure to the sun's UV rays and are called subacute cutaneous lesions. They'll likely appear on your arms, shoulders, neck, or upper torso in patches, like psoriasis.
They don't cause scarring, but they can darken or lighten the skin where they appear.
Other Skin Issues
Lupus may also cause skin problems in areas such as your mouth, scalp, lower legs, and fingers. Here are some skin changes to watch out for:
Mucous membrane lesions. These are sores in the mouth or nose.
Hair loss. In some cases, your immune system may destroy hair follicles and make hair fall out for a time. New hair may sometimes grow in.
A severe lupus flare can also make your hair fragile and brittle. This is most likely around the edge of your scalp.