Some lupus patients are sensitive to ultraviolet rays in sunlight, and this causes various skin changes. The most common skin problem someone might develop is a rash on the cheeks and nose. The rash is shaped like a butterfly. Also, patches or red, scaly bumps may develop on the body. Discoid lesions (coin – like patches) can appear on the scalp or body. There could be other skin problems in various parts such as:
- Hair loss called alopecia
- Nose or mouth sores
- Blue or white toes and fingers when it is cold, the condition is called Raynaud’s phenomenon
Lupus patients should protect their skin from the sun by using a sunscreen. The sunscreen should have an SPF of 50+. They should also avoid the sun during the day when the sun is burning. They should also wear protective clothing and wide-brimmed hats in the sun. Harsh chemicals should be avoided. Lupus patients should be gentle on their hair and use a conditioner and baby shampoo. Raynaud’s phenomenon occurs when it is cold and wearing thick socks and mittens can help. The hands and toes should be kept warm always.