Lupus disease is relatively rare. But by affected celebrities such as Seal or Lady Gaga, the disease is now comparatively many people a term. However, very few people know exactly what is behind it. Worldwide, more than 5 million people are affected by Lupus, for Germany, the estimates are around 35, 000 to 40, 000 people. Thus lupus or more precisely lupus erythematosus belongs to the rather rare diseases. Lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system overreacts and acts against the body's own tissue. This causes recurrent inflammatory reactions in the affected areas. As lupus erythematosus attacks connective tissue, it counts as scleroderma to the collagenoses, which in turn belong to the inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Lupus is particularly prone to women of childbearing age.
Lupus erythematosus owes its name to the symptoms on the skin, which may be caused by the disease: The skin is reddened (erythematosus = Greek for blushing) and the changes reminiscent of wolf bites in severe cases (lupus = Latin for wolf). Since this often spreads on the skin on the face butterfly, the lupus is also referred to as butterfly lichen.
The short form lupus is used synonymously with lupus erythematosus. However, it should be noted that there are two other lupus diseases. These have nothing to do with the lupus erythematosus, but can cause similar appearances of the skin: the lupus pernio occurs in the context of sarcoidosis, the lupus vulgaris (also Lupus exedens) is another name for the manifestations of skin tuberculosis.
Lupus erythematosus: forms
The term lupus erythematosus or the short form lupus summarizes several groups of diseases that have different symptoms, processes and prognoses. The therapy also differs.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): SLE is the rarer, but also heavier form. In SLE, the inflammation can not only on the skin, but in almost all parts and organs of the body play (systemic). Another name for SLE is lupus erythematosus disseminatus (LED).
- Skin Lupus (Chronic Discoid Lupus Erythematosus, CDLE): In CDLE with a mild course, only the skin is affected. CDLE is about ten times as common as the SLE, and rarely enters SLE.
- Special shapes:
- Subacute lupus erythematosus cutaneus (SCLE) is an intermediate form: SCLE is predominantly on the skin. SCLE can also affect joints, muscles and internal organs.
- In the rare neonatal lupus erythematosus syndrome, a newborn of a mother with lupus suffers from symptoms caused by maternal antibodies transmitted through the uterus.