Understanding Skin Disease in Lupus
In people with lupus, skin cells are predisposed to disease even when the skin appears outwardly healthy, according to a recent study. Researchers found the skin cells in people with lupus have a unique “signature” that influences skin cell behavior and increases skin disease risk. The new findings help explain why so many people with lupus develop a form of the disease called cutaneous lupus erythematosus, which is characterized by potentially disfiguring lesions (rashes or sores) on the skin.
“I am excited to share this work as it highlights the importance of patients with SLE protecting their skin. The ‘normal’ looking skin is just waiting to be triggered, so keeping irritants like sunlight off the skin is critical to avoid flares. Hats, sunscreen, and shade are musts for SLE patients!” shared Dr. Michelle Kahlenberg, study author and 2018 Lupus Foundation of America Mary Betty Stevens Awardee.
About two-thirds of people with lupus will develop some form of skin disease. Learn more about cutaneous lupus.