Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes damage to bodily tissues resulting in inflammation of the skin, organs, and/or joints. Lupus symptoms typically come and go in periods of flares and remissions. Types of lupus include:
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the most common form of lupus and results in the broadest range of symptoms, including swelling of the joints, fatigue, skin rashes, and organ tissue inflammation.
- Discoid lupus erythematosusis less common than SLE and manifests itself mainly as a persistent skin rash.
- Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus is characterized by a skin rash that develops mainly in sun-exposed areas of the skin such as the upper back, shoulders, arms, and neck.
- Drug-induced lupus, which is brought about by reactions to specific medications.
- Neonatal lupus is a rare form of lupus that develops shortly after birth.
An estimated 5 million people worldwide suffer from lupus, 1.5 million of those being American.