There are generally four recognized forms or types of lupus: Cutaneous (skin) Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Drug-induced Erythematosus and Neonatal Lupus.
In addition to the limited information that people actually know about Lupus, there are also many misconceptions and myths about this disease. This section addresses frequently asked questions for accurate information at your disposal. You can also find a link for the Lupus Foundation of America.
WHAT IS LUPUS?
Lupus is a disease that can affect many part of the body. It can affect the joints, the skin, the kidneys, the lungs, the heart, or the brain. Only a few of these parts of the body are affected in the most people. Something goes wrong with the body's immune system in lupus. With lupus, the immune system becomes overactive and goes out of control. The antibodies attack healthy tissues in the body. This attack induces inflammation, causing redness, pain and swelling in the affected parts of the body.
WHAT ARE SIGNS OF LUPUS?
The signs of lupus differ from one person to another. Lupus may be hard to diagnose. It is often mistaken for other diseases. For this reason, lupus has often been called the "great imitator." Common signs of lupus are
-red rash or color change on the face, often in the shape of a butterfly across the bridge of the nose and the cheeks
-painful or swollen joints
-chest pain with breathing
-unusual hair loss
-pale or purple fingers or toes from cold or stress
-sensitivity to the sun
-low blood count
DO YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAVE SIGNS OF LUPUS?
Lupus is a serious health problem that affects mainly young women. The disease often starts between the ages of 15 and 44. People of all races may get Lupus, however it is three times more common in the African American woman.
CAN YOU CATCH LUPUS FROM SOMEONE ELSE?
No. Lupus is not contagious. You can't give it to someone else. Also it is not a form of cancer, nor is it like or related to AIDS.