10 Early Signs of Lupus

4. Skin rash or lesions

One of the most visible symptoms of lupus is a butterfly-shaped rash that appears over the bridge of the nose and on both cheeks. About 50 percent of people with lupus have this rash. It can occur suddenly or appear after exposure to sunlight. Sometimes the rash appears just before a flare-up.

Lupus can also cause non-itchy lesions in other areas of the body. Rarely, lupus can cause hives. Many people with lupus are sensitive to the sun, or even to artificial lighting. Some experience discoloration in the fingers and toes.

butterfly rash

5. Pulmonary issues

Inflammation of the pulmonary system is another possible symptom of lupus. The lungs become inflamed, and the swelling can extend to lung blood vessels. Even the diaphragm may be affected. These conditions can all lead to chest pain when you try to breathe in. This condition is often referred to as pleuritic chest pain.

Over time, breathing issues from lupus can shrink lung size. Ongoing chest pain and shortness of breath characterize this condition. It’s sometimes called vanishing (or shrinking lung syndrome). The diaphragmatic muscles are so weak they appear to move up in CT scan images, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.

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