Understanding lupus

Where did the name "lupus" come from?

Dr. Marc Hochberg is a Professor of Medicine and head of the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine. He is also head of Rheumatology at Kernan Hospital in Baltimore, MD.

See all of Marc C. Hochberg, MD, MPH's answers.

The word ‘lupus’ (from the Latin word for 'wolf') is attributed to the thirteenth century physician Rogerius, who used it to describe erosive facial lesions that were reminiscent of a wolf's bite. The word 'erythematosus' (from the Greek word 'erythros,' meaning red) refers to the reddish color of the discoid facial lesions.

Medically reviewed on July 21, 2013