Lupus is a kind of systemic autoimmune disease which occurs when your body’s immune system goes awry and attacks your own organs and tissues. The inflammation results from lupus and can affect different parts of your body like joints, blood cells, brain, skin, heart, kidneys and lungs. It is difficult to diagnose this disease as lupus symptoms will be mistaken for other illnesses. The most distinctive sign that characterizes lupus is the facial rash found in the shape of a butterfly, but this cannot be found in every cases.
Types of Lupus
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: This is the most commonly found Lupus, and people often refer to this form when they use the word lupus. This type of lupus is called systemic lupus as it can affect different parts and organs in your body. It is characterized by severe inflammation, especially found in kidneys, skin and joints. It may also affect the nervous systems and cardiovascular system.
The lupus found on kidneys, known as lupus nephritis can affect the proper functioning of kidneys and reduces its ability to filter waste from the blood. When it affects brain and nervous systems it can result in memory problems, headaches, strokes etc.
Cutaneous lupus erythematosus : This is a specific form of lupus which affects the skin. It can cause rashes and lesions in the skin. There are mainly three types of cutaneous lupus: chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus, tumid lupus and subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus.
The rashes or sores caused by cutaneous lupus can occur on different parts of your skin like face, neck, mouth, scalp, nose or vagina. It can also result in hair loss and changes in pigmentation of the skin.
Drug-induced lupus erythematosus
It is caused by certain prescription drugs. The symptoms related to this specific type of lupus is also similar to of systemic lupus, but the chance of it affecting the major organs is rare. The drugs that commonly cause drug-induced lupus are Hydralazine (used to treat hypertension or high blood pressure), Procainamide (for treating irregular heart rhythms), and Isoniazid (used for treating tuberculosis).
This is not a true form of lupus. The neonatal lupus is a condition which occurs rarely and that affects the infants of women those who are suffering from lupus. It is caused by the action of some antibodies from the mother on the infant in the womb. The infant might have a skin rash, low blood cell count or liver problems. But these symptoms will completely disappear after some months of birth without any lasting effects.