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Lupus Rash on Legs

Lupus rash on the legs appears due to a chronic, autoimmune disease called lupus. These rashes aggravate on exposure to the sun. Read this article to get acquainted with some valuable information in this regard.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
In a healthy state, the immune system produces antibodies that help the body fight against harmful viruses and diseases that can cause infections in the body. Lupus is a health condition in which the immune system fails to distinguish between infected and healthy cells. As a result, the antibodies start attacking the healthy cells of the body. Lupus has 3 different forms, namely, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), discoid or cutaneous lupus, and drug-induced lupus. Among the three, discoid or cutaneous lupus is the one which adversely affects the skin and is mainly responsible for causing lupus rash on legs.
The cause of lupus rash has not yet been ascertained. It is found more commonly in women than in men. Research studies suggest that lupus could be hereditary and other factors, like emotional stress, side effects of some medications, and estrogen hormone can trigger this condition. This rash can develop in babies as well, where it is often called neonatal lupus. Drug-induced lupus can be found in those children who take anti-seizure medications and in adults who are on thyroid medications.
Characteristics
☛ There are different forms of lupus rash that develops on the legs. These rashes mostly break out in the lower part of the legs. The best part is that once the rash heals up, it does not leave behind any scar.
☛ The shape of the rash on the legs caused by acute discoid lupus disease is similar to that of a butterfly and is often referred to as butterfly rash.
☛ It could be flat or flared up and appears in deep red or pink color. Some of the rashes due to discoid lupus cause a severe itching sensation that results in scaly patches all over the legs.
☛ The skin condition that leads to this form of lupus rash is quite different from the one that causes butterfly rash. Another form of lupus rash is the one that erupts in the form of tiny red spots.
☛ Lupus skin rash in small babies mostly appears in the form of circles that are very scaly. In certain conditions, the rash may take the form of a lesion. It is believed that the lesions develop when the rash absorbs the harmful UV rays of the sun due to prolonged exposure.
Treatment
☛ Treatment is not very easy. The rashes tend to appear again and again and the condition needs to be treated at regular intervals of time. The intervention depends on the symptoms, and initially, it involves the application of corticosteroid creams.
☛ These help in bringing down the inflammation of the rashes and the redness also starts disappearing. However, creams and ointments can prove to be effective only if the treatment starts at an early stage.
☛ If this does not produce results and the rash turns serious, then doctors prescribe steroid injections. For oral intake, antimalarial drug is also administered. Under severe conditions, doctors recommend laser treatment for the rash.
Frequent outbreak of the rash can be controlled by avoiding the sun. Lupus rash tends to worsen further and becomes very prominent with sunbathe or with the use of tanning salons. Continuous use of sunscreen every time, before going out in the sun, can prevent the eruption of the rash to some extent. Stress plays a major role in the eruption of this rash. Hence, it needs to be checked in order to get rid of it. One should maintain a healthy lifestyle with proper diet, regular exercise, and adequate amount of rest. All these preventive measures, if followed properly, can prevent the occurrence of the rash.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.