What Increases Your Risk

The chances of developing lupus are higher in people who:

Certain things can trigger lupus attacks. These may include:

  • Exposure to ultraviolet light, usually from sunlight.
  • Smoking. Smoking also may make getting lupus more likely, and make it more severe.
  • Some medicines.
  • Some infections. Some people who have cytomegalovirus (CMV), parvovirus (such as fifth disease), and hepatitis C infections eventually get lupus. The Epstein-Barr virus has been linked to lupus in children.
  • Chemical exposure. Suspected chemical toxins include trichloroethylene in well water and silica dust. Hair dyes and straighteners, linked to lupus in the past, are no longer thought to trigger lupus.

What about hormones?

Hormones, including those used for hormone therapy or birth control, don't cause lupus. But they may have some effect on it.

Talk with your doctor about whether you should use hormonal birth control or hormone therapy.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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