Lupus Erythematosus - Symptoms

In systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), as in all collagenoses and many autoimmune diseases, the range of possible symptoms is large. This is because there is connective tissue throughout the body, so very different organs and places may be affected by the inflammatory reactions and thus the lupus disease. In the discoid lupus erythematosus, however, it usually comes only to changes in the skin.

SLE: symptoms of systemic lupus

The symptoms of SLE occur in different frequencies and severity. The sometimes very pronounced symptoms of SLE due to organ inflammation have become quite rare today due to the therapy. The following symptoms are relatively typical of lupus disease, especially if several occur together:

  • Hair loss (often first sign of the disease)
  • Skin lesions, often as a butterfly erythema on the face (flat to slightly raised bright reddening of the cheeks, which runs over the bridge of the nose)
  • General complaints (tiredness, poor performance, difficulty concentrating)
  • Joint pain, arthritis - symptoms similar to rheumatism
  • Muscle aches
  • Dry eyes (due to limited tear secretion)
  • Hypersensitivity to light (photosensitivity) with signs such as headache, fatigue and fever after sun exposure
  • Symptoms of inflammation of the following organs: gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, pleura, lymph nodes, pericardium and heart muscle, lungs, pancreas, brain

Symptoms of Chronic Discoid Lupus (CDLE)

The symptoms in the form of changes on the skin are quite typical for chronic-discoid lupus (CDLE) and are divided into three areas:

  • Approximately coin-sized areas on the skin with tight scales, under which after detachment sits a spur-like extension ("Tapeziernagelphänomen")
  • Reddened rim around the skin area
  • In the middle tissue loss with scarring of the skin, characterized by pale pigmented dents and often permanent hair loss

These symptoms of CDLE appear on the skin in bumps and usually after sun exposure - especially where the skin is exposed to the sun, ie face, décolleté, neck. In addition, there are also small ulcers in the mouth in the back cheek area as symptoms. Those affected by this lupus disease feel - excluding these symptoms - otherwise healthy.

If the changes in the skin are quite extensive, very sensitive to light, but not dented and shed only slightly, there is more likely to be subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE).

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