Living With Lupus : Discoid Lupus And Breaking Out in Rashes

As explained in a previous post, there are several types of lupus :  systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE, Discoid lupus erythematosus, Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus, neonatal lupus affects newborns, and drug-induced lupus which is caused by certain medicines.

At least 1.5 million people in the United States, and 5 million people worldwide, are living with lupus, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.

While I don’t have Discoid Lupus, breaking out into rashes can be a symptom of SLE. Below is a picture of me breaking out in a rash on my arm. After going to a dermatologist, he felt it wasn’t Lupus related; however I’ve broken out in these types of rashes on several occasions. When I was a toddler, my father said I would often scratch my face around my cheeks but I could never tell him what the actual problem was. He always wondered then if I had Lupus being that my mother suffered from it.  It’s interesting because the cheek area is where the butterfly rash forms. Years later in my 20’s, the butterfly rash on my face would trigger my father to get my primary doctor to test me for lupus.

Through research I have found millions of people are affected with Discoid lupus, prompting me to bring more attention to this form of lupus on my blog.

Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) is a chronic skin condition of sores with inflammation and scarring favoring the face, ears, and scalp and at times on other body areas that usually affects young people. These lesions develop as a red, inflamed patch with a scaling and crusty appearance. Cortisone ointments and shots are often used to help treat discoid lupus erythematosus. A skin biopsy must be done in order to determine the diagnosis.

Seal, Getty Images

I used the picture of the singer Seal because he suffers from discoid lupus. Those who are not familiar with Seal, he is a platinum singer best known for his song “Kiss From A Rose”. When people see Seal, it’s not hard to recognize his face. Seal has revealed in interviews that he was afflicted with this disease as a teen and his faced became scarred at 23 years old. Not only did DLE cause Seal’s face scars, but he had significant scalp involvement, causing hair loss. Thankfully, the singer’s condition has been in remission for years, though his scars remain.

AOCD reports the exact cause of discoid lupus is unknown, but it is thought to be autoimmune with the body’s immune system incorrectly attacking normal skin. This condition tends to run in families. Females outnumber males with this condition 3 to 1. In some patients with discoid lupus erythematosus, sunlight and cigarette smoking may make the lesions come out.

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