How Lupus Affects Your Body

Skin

You may become sensitive to the ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight, which can cause many skin changes. A common skin problem you might develop is a butterfly-shaped rash on your nose and cheeks. Red, scaly bumps or patches can develop on your body. Coin-like patches called discoid lesions can appear on your body or scalp.

You may also have skin trouble in other areas, such as:

  • Mouth or nose sores (ulcers)
  • Hair loss (but not baldness), called alopecia
  • White or blue fingers and toes in response to cold, known as Raynaud’s phenomenon

What you can do:

Protect your skin from the sun.Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 50 or higher, and avoid the sun in the middle of the day. Wear wide-brimmed hats and protective clothing in the sun.

Be gentle on your hair. Use a baby shampoo and conditioner. Avoid harsh chemicals on your hair.

Wear mittens and thick socks when it’s cold. If you have lupus, Raynaud’s is usually related to being in the cold. So do what you can to keep your hands warm.

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