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Lupus Rash

The lupus rash is a skin condition associated with the presence of the autoimmune disease called Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). As an autoimmune disease, SLE does not usually present itself with a predictable set of symptoms in each of the patients suffering from it, but its distinctive rash remains as a consistent sign in most SLE patients. The lupus rash appears on areas of the skin which receives the most exposure to sunlight, such as the face. It is also known as a “butterfly rash” for the shape it assumes as it is spread horizontally across the patient’s cheeks and nose.

Lupus Rash Symptoms

The lupus rash has the following features:

  • It is shaped similarly to a butterfly, extending across the face,
  • over both cheeks and the bridge of the nose
  • Maybe bright red in color or pink
  • Usually becomes more visible after sun exposure
  • Lasts for several days
  • May be itchy


Lupus is an autoimmune inflammatory disease which means that a patient with the illness has antibodies that are faulty and attack the patient’s tissue because they mistakenly identify these as foreign and unfamiliar. The reactions that the antibodies make a start up an inflammatory response, causing swelling and tissue damage to organs as well as to the skin. The rash in SLE patients is a result of the inflammatory process in combination with abnormally increased sensitivity to the heat of the sun.


The lupus rashes are primarily treated through the topical application of skin creams such as corticosteroids and antimalarial drugs like hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine. However, treatment should be stopped if adverse effects start to take place.

SLE patients with rashes should always put on sunscreen with high SPF values before getting exposed to sunlight.

Pictures of Lupus Rash

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lupus rash pictures

lupus rash pictures

lupus rash pictures

Lupus Rash
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