Lupus improves at times, and worsens at others. Symptoms of lupus may include:
Severe joint pain and muscle aches
Skin rash on the face or body
Extreme sun sensitivity
Mental confusion and seizures
Chest pain on taking a deep breath
Nose, mouth, or throat sores
Enlarged lymph nodes
Poor circulation in fingers and toes
Bald patches and hair loss
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.