Treatment for Lupus Skin Rash
Add a dermatologist to your healthcare team and ensure that you consult them when you notice any skin changes.
The appearance of rashes can cause self-consciousness, stress, and anxiety. Topical steroidal creams can help reduce inflammation, as well as more natural treatments like aloe vera, oatmeal baths, vitamin E oil, etc.
Most people with lupus are already taking either an anti-inflammatory or anti-malarial drug as treatment, which are effective in treating lupus rash. Molly’s Fund recommends disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and immunosuppressive drugs for severe malar rash, which treats the disease and also prevents recurrence.
Avoid the Sun
Since photosensitivity plays such a large role in almost all types of lupus rashes, it is important to limit exposure to UV and artificial light.
Applying sunscreen that has an SPF degree of 30 or higher is important to adequate prevention, along with the amount of times you reapply. If you are out in the sun for a length of time, it is important to reapply sunscreen every two hours. This is to ensure that you are getting the most out of your sunscreen.
Avoiding any type of direct sunlight is also important, and this can be done by wearing large hats and tight woven clothes. While these suggestions are not guaranteed to stop the potential flare of cutaneous lupus, they have been shown to be highly effective in reducing the chance of a flare.
Topical Creams and Ointments
While medication will require a doctor’s prescription and might not be available right at the moment you need it, there are some other options on how to soothe the itch. These options include using ointments like corticosteroid cream that will most likely help to reduce the itch. This cream should be applied directly to the portion of the body that is experiencing the outbreak to help reduce the itch.
Committing to general skin health is one of the best things that you can do in regard to rash prevention and care. Remember, our skin is our largest organ and deserves our attention!
The last thing we want to do is irritate the skin further when it is already dealing with a lesion or malar rash. Here are some suggestions on how you can invest in your skin health:
- Drink plenty of fluids every day, especially water
- Avoid or reduce dehydrating fluids like coffee and alcohol
- Avoid smoking
- Invest in toxin-free, mild soaps
- Consider toxin-free, SPF make-up
- Moisturize often with a moisturizer that contains SPF
- Use sunscreen daily and avoid tanning salons
- Limit bath/shower time, which can dry out your skin
- Use a humidifier every night
- Steer clear of scented products
- Avoid using fabric softeners that irritate the skin
Work With Your Doctor
If none of these options seem to be viable ones for your particular flare, it is a good idea to contact your doctor to discuss other options you might have when it comes to lupus flares. It is important to explain to your doctor what these flares include, how often you experience them, and the types of treatments you have already tried.
While some immunosuppressive medication might work for some patients who experience cutaneous lupus flares, they might not work for you, and that is okay. Different medications have the potential to affect each patient differently. Working with your doctor to find the right course of treatment for your cutaneous lupus is an important step in learning how to control and treat it.
Lupus is often invisible, but when it is not, is can be devastating to our self-image and our self-esteem. Remember that it is the inside that matters most.
Take Care Of Your Skin And Your Emotional/Mental Well-being
Lupus is most often an invisible disease, because a person with lupus may not look sick at all. For those who suffer from a lupus rash, this is not the case.
Each lupus symptom creates both physical and mental challenges. Simply seeing photos of lupus rash can cause fear and anxiety.
Dealing with changes in appearance can add to the immense stress of dealing with other physical symptoms. It is important to share your feelings with a close friend or a counseling professional.
Skin involvement happens to most people with lupus, so access online support groups and find out their tips and tricks — you don’t have to go through this alone.