Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect many of the body's organs. It is an autoimmune disease - that is, it occurs when the immune mechanism forms anti-bodies that attack the body's own tissues. The disease was named LUPUS, which means "wolf", because many people who get it develop a butterfly-shaped rash over the cheeks and nose that gives them a wolf-like appearance.
There are two types of Lupus, systemic lups erythematosus (SLE) & discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE).
SLE is a systemic disease that affects many different parts of the body. The severity can range from mild to life threatening. The lungs and kidneys are often involved. It can start like the appearance of arthritis or it can come on quickly with an acute fever.
DLE is a less serious disease that primarily affects the skin. The charactersistic butterfly rash forms over the nose and cheeks. There may also be lesions elsewhere, commonly on the scalp and ears and these lesions may recur or persist for years. The lesions are small yellowish bumps. When they disappear, they often leave scars.