One of the many symptoms people with lupus face is the rashes on their faces and skin. While there are individuals with lupus who don't have any rashes or marks on their skin, a butterfly rash on the face and red lesions on the head and body are common symptoms. These rashes may feel uncomfortable or even painful. This is why it's best to follow your doctor's advice and take the medicine prescribed to you. Of course, it is not only medicine that can help. Natural remedies and the right knowledge on handling these lupus rashes would also be very beneficial.
Lupus Rash Treatments
Here are some lupus rash treatments you can do to keep your skin comfortable and rash-free:
Your doctor will prescribe you various medicines, which you must take according to their instructions. Medications include cyctophosphamid and methotrexate, which control inflammation and an overactive immune system. Note that these have some side effects, such as digestive problems, hair loss, lung damage, irregular periods, and worsened sun sensitivity. There are also NSAID painkillers, which treat joint pain, muscle aches, and headaches. They will be a bit addictive and have side effects as well, including liver or kidney damage. Steroids help with pain and swelling, as well as any form of skin rashes and inflammation. Prednisone and hydrocortisone are often the steroids prescribed, although they may come with side effects such as a puffy face, weight gain, acne, mood changes, or hormonal changes.
Exercising is a way to both treat and prevent lupus. It lowers stress, improves your quality of sleep, makes your muscles stronger, and gives you a better range of motion. All these contribute to the lessening of the intensity of lupus and lupus rashes. Twenty to thirty minutes of exercise a day is great, but make sure you choose the right types of exercise, such as walking, doing yoga, or swimming.
Avoiding the Sun and Heat
One of the reasons why lupus rashes show up in a person with lupus is her greater sensitivity to heat and UV rays. Certain chemicals worsen skin inflammation and rashes, which is why it's best to avoid products that contain harmful chemical substances that trigger the outbreaks. Using organic household and beauty products will help, as will avoiding the sun and hot showers. Consuming vitamin E through food and in supplement form is vital as well, and baths with oatmeal powder can help to moisturize dry skin.
Diet and Supplements
Omega-3 fish oil, MSM (organic sulfur), and turmeric help with the inflammation and discomfort of the skin. As for diet, make sure that you consume food and drinks rich in nutrients, focusing on vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and other vital vitamins to lessen the chances of rashes and other symptoms from happening. Maintain a balanced diet consisting of protein, fruits, vegetables, and other natural foods. Avoid processed sugar and fast food at all costs, as the excess oil can trigger acne and rashes.
Besides taking the medicine prescribed to you, and the diet and exercise regimes you need to follow, there are natural remedies you can try. These include the following:
Essential oils: Aromatherapy using essential oils helps with skin inflammation. Frankincense is one of the most recommended oils for reducing inflammation and rashes. Lavender and geranium oils are good as well. You can either put the oil in a diffuser, add a few drops to your bath, or apply it on your skin, as long as you first mix it with a few drops of carrier oil. When bathing, you can also go for Epsom salts. Here are other natural ingredients you can consume to treat lupus rashes:
- Grapeseed extract powder - Two tablespoons a day
- Flaxseed oil - One tablespoon a day
- Apple cider vinegar - One teaspoon a day
Tips on Preventing Flare-ups
Now that you're familiar with the various lupus rash treatments, here are ways you can prevent flare-ups:
- Make sure that you keep your schedule simple and free of any stress triggers. We recommend that you keep it to one task per day, or a few simple, easy-to-do errands. Delegate your tasks to other people, especially if they seem too difficult for you to do, either mentally or physically. Avoid having to do everything yourself, especially if the task at hand is particularly tricky.
- Keep your list of obligations light. If you have any obligations to anyone, keep them to a minimum. Know your limits and pace yourself. Limit the tiring activities you do and know when to ask for help if needed.
- Take short breaks when needed. Having lupus can make typical, everyday tasks tiring, and there is no shame in taking a break for a few minutes until you're re-energized and ready to resume. Five minutes of breathing exercises will help you wind down and reduce any pressure or stress.
- Exercise is crucial for you to keep your muscles strong and help your overall mood. Less intense exercise such as walking every day can contribute to reducing stress while clearing your head and improving your mood. Walking can also fight fatigue, which is another important thing to take care of. Besides walking, swimming is another whole body workout recommended for people with lupus.
- You can employ meditation or yoga techniques to help calm your body and mind. Guided imagery and other forms of therapy are also recommended to keep your thoughts at ease and free from stress. Do yoga or meditation a few times a week for at least half an hour.
- Fatigue can trigger stress, which, in turn, triggers your rashes. Make sure to get enough sleep at night and plenty of daytime rest. If you have any mental illnesses such as depression, which contributes to your stress and fatigue, see a professional to have it treated immediately.
- To protect yourself against any flare-ups, apply protective sunscreen every day. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, putting it on before your makeup and ten minutes before going out. Refrain from outdoor activities, especially during very sunny days as they can cause flare-ups. If you do have to go out, wear sun-protective clothes and hats.
- Before taking any form of medicine, inform your doctor beforehand to learn about photosensitivity, which can affect your lupus rashes.
- Photosensitivity can affect your rashes. Minimize your exposure to UV rays by placing plastic over your glass windows, encasing halogen lights and bulbs in plastic as well. Put a guard on your desktop screen. Laptop screens do not need the guard, though.
- Keeping your stress to a minimum is the most important way to prevent any form of flare-ups.
Living with Lupus
Though you have lupus and experience the common rashes and other skin problems that come with the disease, don't worry about these staying permanently and keeping you uncomfortable. There are ways to treat them. Not only will your face and body be free of rashes, but you will also be able to keep yourself comfortable, knowing that you know what to do in case of another flare-up.
We hope that this article on various lupus rash treatments and tips on preventing flare-ups helped you become more knowledgeable about lupus. If you or a family member has this condition, do employ these treatments and tips to keep yourself comfortable starting today. If you have questions or would like to share more information and tips on lupus rash treatment and prevention, please comment below. All contributions would be greatly appreciated.