We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What are Lupus Lesions?

Deanna Baranyi
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

People affected by lupus, an autoimmune disorder, often experience lesions on their skin. There are three main kinds of lupus lesions: acute cutaneous, subacute cutaneous, and chronic discoid lupus lesions. Acute cutaneous lesions are also known as a butterfly rash and generally produce a mild red rash on the face. Subacute cutaneous lesions can produce red, raised bumps that grow in size and develop scales over time, or it can produce a flat irritation on the skin that grows outward, but does not produce a scar. Chronic discoid lesions produce a pink or red bump that only minimally rises above the surface of the skin, becomes crusty, and eventually scars.

The butterfly rash usually comes on quickly and typically does not produce a scar as it heals. It is considered a mild type of lesion. Some people even confuse it with unrelated issues, such as rosacea. Yet, some individuals are more severely affected, and blisters or other pimple-like eruptions form on their skin. Although this type of lesion is usually found on the face, it is possible for it to show up elsewhere as well.

Subacute cutaneous lupus lesions are among the most common lesions. A person affected by these lesions may have a rash with red blister-like eruptions on the face, arms, and chest. As the rash continues, the skin eruptions grow in size and begin to scale. At that time, the rash most resembles psoriasis. Sunlight increases the itchiness of the rash and can make the appearance of the skin more aggravated.

There is a second form of subacute cutaneous lupus lesions as well. Generally, it begins as a flat lesion, but it typically grows larger in size with time. In some cases, the middle of the lesion may appear as if it has healed. The result is that the person has areas of skin that are covered with red circles with unaffected centers, similar to a ring. This form of the disease also itches and will worsen if exposed to the sun.

Chronic discoid lupus lesions are much less common. Generally, these lesions are barely raised and are pinkish red in color. They usually form a flaky crust and result in scarring. The scarring is what makes them significantly different from the other forms.

Although lupus lesions cannot be prevented, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the severity of outbreaks. For example, sun exposure should be kept to a minimum. Also, a high-quality sunscreen with a high sun protection factor should be used, particularly on the face and hands. In addition, a hat with a wide brim and a long sleeved shirt may be worn to shade the face and arms from the sun’s direct rays. In addition, treatment of lupus lesions is usually possible with antimalarial drugs, retinoids, and corticosteroids.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Deanna Baranyi
By Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi, a freelance writer and editor with a passion for the written word, brings a diverse skill set to her work. With degrees in relevant fields and a keen ability to understand and connect with target audiences, she crafts compelling copy, articles, and content that inform and engage readers.
Discussion Comments
Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi, a freelance writer and editor with a passion for the written word, brings a diverse skill set to her...
Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.