There are four types of lupus: Systemic Lupus (SLE), Cutaneous Lupus (CLE), Drug-Induced Lupus (DIL), and Neonatal Lupus.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the most common form of lupus. Systemic means the disease can affect organs and tissue in the body. SLE can be mild or severe and is considered more complex because it mimics other diseases which can lead to misdiagnosis; adding to the unpredictability and danger of lupus. Serious complications to major organ systems includes:
- Inflammation of the kidneys, called lupus nephritis. This can affect the body’s ability to filter waste from the blood and sometimes can causes damages to the kidneys resulting to dialysis or kidney transplant.
- Inflammation of the nervous system and brain that can cause memory problems, headaches, and strokes.
- Inflammation in the brain’s blood vessels that can cause high fevers, seizures, and behavioral changes.
- Hardening of the arteries or coronary artery disease that is a buildup of deposits on coronary artery walls and can lead to a heart attack.
Cutaneous lupus (CLE), a form of lupus that is limited to the skin. Approximately two-thirds of people with lupus will develop some form of lupus skin disease. There are 3 forms of lupus skin disease:
- Chronic cutaneous (discoid lupus) – illustrates a disk-shaped, round lesions that appear on the face, but sometimes they will occur on other parts of the body as well. Discoid lupus lesions are often red, scaly, and thick. If affected on the scalp, it may cause the hair to fall out. Discoid lupus lesions can be very photosensitive so it’s important to avoid being out in the sunlight between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Subacute cutaneous lupus – may appear as areas of red scaly skin with well-defined edges or red, ring-shaped lesions that’s most frequently on the sun-exposed areas of the arms, shoulders, neck, and body.
- Acute cutaneous lupus – occur when systemic lupus is active. The most typical form is a malar rash – flattened areas of red skin on the face that resemble a sunburn in the shape of a butterfly which is known as the “butterfly rash.”
Drug-induced lupus (DIL),a lupus-like disease caused by certain prescription drugs. This type of lupus is more common in men because they are given these drugs more often. The drugs most commonly connected with drug-induced lupus are:
- Hydralazine – used to treat high blood pressure or hypertension
- Procainamide – used to treat irregular heart rhythms
- Isoniazid – used to treat tuberculous
Neonatal lupus,a rare condition that affects infants of women who have lupus. At birth, the baby may have a skin rash, liver problems, or low blood cell counts, but these symptoms typically disappear entirely after six months with no permanent effects. The most known life-threatening symptom is congenital heart block that is usually detected when the fetus is between 18 and 24 weeks old. This condition does not disappear, and the affected infant will ultimately need a pacemaker. With proper testing, physicians can identify at-risk mothers, and the infant can be treated at or before birth. Most infants of mothers with lupus are completely healthy.
No matter what type of Lupus you have, LEARN your body inside and out, because you have the POTENTIAL to know your body BEST!