Picture of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 2
Systemic lupus erythematosus. Erythematous, edematous plaques appear in a "butterfly" distribution on the face. Lupus is an autoimmune disease characterized by acute and chronic inflammation of various tissues of the body. Common complaints and symptoms include fatigue, low-grade fever, loss of appetite, muscle aches, arthritis, ulcers of the mouth and nose, facial rash ("butterfly rash"), unusual sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitivity), inflammation of the lining that surrounds the lungs (pleuritis) and the heart (pericarditis), and poor circulation to the fingers and toes with cold exposure (Raynaud's phenomenon). Complications of organ involvement can lead to further symptoms that depend on the organ affected and severity of the disease. There is no permanent cure for SLE. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and protect organs by decreasing inflammation and/or the level of autoimmune activity in the body.