Lupus Butterfly Rash:
Lupus is a widely spread chronic disease that strikes the autoimmune system, which is supposed to protect the body from strange objects that attack body like viruses and bacteria. Once a person gets infected by lupus, the autoimmune system stops attacking foreign items that attack the body and instead it, in severe cases, causes damages to vital body organs such as: the brain, lungs, kidneys, blood and the skin. So, it unpredictably affects every organ of the body causing large-scale inflammation and infections.
Lupus rash has several types. Of these types is Lupus butterfly rash or as some people name it malar rash or ‘acute cutaneous lupus.’
Malar rash (butterfly rash):
Malar as a word is derived from a Latin word ‘mala’ that refers to the cheekbones and nose. Medically speaking, malar rash, which forms on the cheekbones and nose, is associated with lupus erythematosus. It’s also associated with other diseases such as: pellagra, dermatomyositis, and Bloom Syndrome.
Butterfly rash takes the form of red or purple spots on the cheekbones and bridge of the nose, and it takes the shape of a butterfly as the name suggests. In addition to cheeks and nose, malar rash may extends to reach other parts of the face like the forehead for example.
Generally speaking, Lupus butterfly rash is neither painful nor itchy; yet, it may get worsened through excessive exposure to sunlight.
Signs and symptoms of malar rash:
- Reddish or purplish spots on cheek and nose, this is in case of mild rash.
- Formation of scales on the infected areas of the face, this is in case of severe rash.
- Fatigue without known reasons.
- Pain, swelling and stiffness in joints due to damages butterfly rash causes to tissues and skin.
- Inflammation of the glands and infection of the kidneys and urinary tract.
- High temperature due to pain caused by rash.
- Neurological disorders, such as: convulsion, confusion and seizures.
Diagnosis of butterfly rash:
Malar rash’s symptoms of infection are similar to those of other diseases which make the diagnosis of the disease is somehow difficult unfortunately. Here are some measures taken by doctors to diagnose malar rash:
- Blood tests.
- Urine tests.
- Biopsy of the kidney.
- Get some information about the patient’s medical history.
- Advanced medical tests, such as: X-ray of the face rash, neck or chest; C-reaction protein test; anti-nuclear antibody test; ANA, and Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate test.
Malar ‘butterfly’ rash in words:
Malar rash is highly linked with Systematic Lupus Erythematosus; that’s, about 50% of people with lupus have butterfly rash.
Butterfly rash and other symptoms are the result of tissue inflammation on various parts of the body.
The appearance and severity of viral rash differs according to individuals and types.
Normally, malar rash takes the color of red or pink; however, it may turn darker in the sun.
The redness of the cheek caused by malar rash might be a reflection of other diseases or disorders; for example, rosacea, windburn, scarlet fever, dermatomyositis and pellagra.