Medical Center Philadelphia, PA. What Is It? Systemic lupus erythematosus SLE is a chronic, inflammatory disorder of the immune system that affects several body systems simultaneously. Achy, swollen joints; fever; skin rashes; fatigue—these are some of the more typical symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus SLE , a chronic, inflammatory disorder of the immune system that affects several body systems simultaneously. Approximately 1. SLE is classified as an autoimmune disorder because the body's immune system, which normally fights harmful bacteria and viruses, also targets healthy tissue, sometimes including skin, joints, kidneys, brain, heart and lungs.
Skin disease in lupus can cause rashes or sores lesions , most of which will appear on sun-exposed areas such as the face, ears, neck, arms, and legs. A dermatologist, a physician who specializes in caring for the skin, should treat lupus skin rashes and lesions. He or she will usually examine tissue under a microscope to determine whether a lesion or rash is due to cutaneous lupus: taking the tissue sample is called a biopsy. The sores usually appear on the scalp and face but sometimes they will occur on other parts of the body as well. Approximately 10 percent of people with discoid lupus later develop lupus in other organ systems, but these people probably already had systemic lupus with the skin rash as the first symptom. Discoid lupus lesions are often red, scaly, and thick. Usually they do not hurt or itch.
Copy editor: Maria McGivern. April Vulval ulcers sores or erosions are breaks in the skin or mucous membranes of the vulva that expose underlying tissue. They may be itchy or painful. They may produce a discharge.
Resident Corner: Basics of combined oral contraceptives for dermatologists. The authors report no discussion of off-label use. Accepted for publication May 28, We present a case of a year-old adolescent girl who presented with a vesiculobullous eruption without detectable type VII collagen antibodies and without full criteria for SLE.