Monday, April 6

Recognizing lupus and creating a treatment plan is crucial to attenuate its effects.

ANYONE CAN HAVE LUPUS, but the very fact is that ladies have quite their justifiable share of this autoimmune condition. In the U.S., an estimated 1 million to 1.5 million people have lupus, and ladies account for about 90% of lupus diagnoses.


Facial rashes, persistent fatigue and joint pain are more familiar lupus symptoms. However, with systemic LE , the foremost common and high form, inflammation flare-ups and symptoms may involve multiple organs including the brain, heart and kidneys.

Younger women ages 15 to 44 are at highest risk of developing lupus, consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Race and ethnicity presents another lupus disparity. people that are black, Hispanic or Latino, Asian or Native American are more often suffering from lupus than whites.

[ SEE: inquiries to Ask a Dermatologist. ]
Because lupus tends to affect young women, it can have an outsized impact on adolescent girls who are still in class or women within the midst of building careers and families. Recognizing lupus and creating a treatment plan is crucial to attenuate its effects and permit women to maneuver forward with their lives.

Although lupus is more likely to occur within the mid- to late teens, younger adolescents and youngsters also can develop lupus. Before menarche – when adolescent girls get their periods – the incidence of lupus for male or female kids is about an equivalent , says Dr. Jennifer Grossman, a clinical professor at University of California, l. a. and a rheumatologist with the UCLA center .

“Then, once you get to teen years, that’s once we really start to ascertain increased incidence of females over males,” says Grossman, who may be a member of the Lupus Foundation of America’s medical-scientific advisory council.

Below, experts describe ways in which women are often suffering from lupus.


Lupus can disrupt the cycle as flare-ups interfere with normal hormone processes. “When patients are really inflamed, it can affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis,” Grossman says. The HPA axis refers to an interaction between three sorts of glands that are involved within the body’s stress response.

“When your body is under tons of stress you skip your period and you only don’t ovulate normally,” Grossman explains. “Lupus can cause you to do this .” Once lupus is diagnosed, medication to treat it’s going to affect the cycle also .

Skin and Hair

Distinctive rashes and increased sun sensitivity are lupus hallmarks. Lupus can affect the skin during a sort of ways:

Discoid lupus involves round, disk-shaped sores, usually on the face and scalp. Although not typically itchy or painful, the thick, red, scaly sores can cause skin discoloration or scarring.
Hair loss, sometimes permanent, may result from discoid lesions on the scalp. Patchy, temporary hair loss, or fragile, broken hairs also can result from severe lupus or lupus flares.
A “butterfly” rash that passes across both cheeks and over the bridge of the nose, and appears sort of a sunburn, may be a sign of active lupus. Rashes can also appear on other sun-exposed parts of the body, like the rear , shoulders, arms and upper torso.
Raynaud’s syndrome may be a side effect during which fingers and toes are sensitive to cold, becoming painful or numb and changing color to red, white or blue.
Body image matters to people of any age, and possibly even more so to adolescents. For teen girls diagnosed with lupus who have severe organ involvement, effects from treatment with high-dose steroids can reach a round, puffy “moon” face, weight gain and stretch marks, Grossman notes. this will be quite upsetting to young girls or women.

“But i have been surprised,” Grossman adds. “Some young folks are just tremendously resilient. I wish we could find out the way to capture that resilience, because it is a trait that basically helps them get through these tough times.”