A butterfly is a welcome sight. A facial rash resembling a butterfly is not. Although not all lupus patients develop this rash, it is a distinctive sign of this chronic inflammatory disease in which a person’s immune system attacks their tissues and organs.
“A rash covering the cheeks and nose is a common symptom of lupus,” says Amjad Roumany, MD, rheumatologist at Saint Francis Medical Center. “Other symptoms are not so distinctive, which sometimes makes lupus hard to diagnose. There’s no cure, but your physician can help you manage your symptoms.”
Symptoms include fatigue, fever, joint pain, chest pain, skin lesions that worsen with sun exposure, and fingers and toes that turn white or blue in the cold. Treatment is crucial, since inflammation caused by lupus can affect the kidneys, brain, lungs, heart and blood vessels.