Have you been diagnosed with lupus? If so, you are probably well aware of the skin irritations that come with your disorder. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack healthy cells and tissues within the body, which includes your skin. While there is no known cure for lupus, a board certified dermatologist can help you manage your skin symptoms so that they are not an extra burden to your condition.
Whether you have cutaneous skin lupus or SLE (systemic lupus erythematous), you’ll likely need to find a good dermatologist to help you manage your skin condition. Lupus skin symptoms can range from unsightly rashes and mouth sores to chronically dry skin and sun sensitivity.
In addition to scheduling a visit with a qualified dermatologist, follow these general rules for skin care with lupus:
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
If you suffer from lupus, you know that the sun is not your friend. Ultraviolet (UV) rays are a leading culprit to skin problems for lupus patients. Symptoms can include a butterfly-shaped rash across the nose and cheeks, raised patches or sores. In addition, sun exposure can also worsen your overall disease. Therefore, be mindful to wear sunscreen, avoid hours of peak sunlight and cover up with clothing when possible.
Soothe and Treat Mouth Sores and Nasal Sores
It is common for lupus sufferers to encounter painful sores or lesions inside their cheek or just inside their nostrils. These can be quite uncomfortable. Make sure you ask your dentist or physician for a proper mouth rinse to keep the area clean. Nose sores may be soothed with petroleum jelly. If you notice that your sore is growing or showing signs of infection, seek medical attention promptly.
Take Care of Your Hair
In its active state, lupus is associated with hair loss or weakened hair follicles. Therefore, try to avoid chemicals, heat and other harsh products on your hair and scalp. If your lupus has left you with balding or significant thinning, you may want to consider hair transplant. A dermatologist can also recommend a safe alopecia treatment for lupus patients.
Put the Past Behind You
If your lupus is not active, you may still be left with deep pitted scars or dark spots on your skin from previous flare-ups. In such cases, a dermatologist can treat these blemishes using dermal fillers, laser therapy or other advanced treatment options.
At Olansky Dermatologist, we proudly treat lupus patients. Our Atlanta dermatologists have a keen understanding of how the lupus disease affects the skin and scalp. We are committed to being your partner throughout your battle with lupus, whether we are helping you manage an uncomfortable lupus rash or providing aesthetic services to erase lupus scarring. Call today to learn more.