Butterfly Rash

Butterfly rash which is also known as malar rash is a medical manifestation consisting of a characteristic form of facial rash. Malar rash is frequently seen in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) but is not a characteristic for a particular disease. Butterfly rash is also seen in other diseases such as Pellagra, dermatomyositis and Bloom Syndrome. The rash usually occurs in about 46 to 65 percent of lupus sufferers and varies between different populations.

How to Know You’ve Got Lupus?

SLE, which is an autoimmune disease, produces a butterfly rash as one its initial symptoms. In this condition, the immune system of an individual starts attacking the body’s organs and cells, rendering them damaged and dysfunctional in many cases. Lupus rash can be seen on body parts such as face, arms, legs and chest. Besides systemic lupus erythematosus, there are a number of other health conditions too which can produce this rash.

What It Looks Like?

The malar or lupus rash appears purplish or red and is slightly scaly. Malar rash has the shape of a butterfly, which is its distinct characteristic, and appears on the bridge of the nose. The rash does not affect the naso-labial folds of the face, which adds to its characteristic appearance. It is generally macular with sharp edges and is not itchy. The butterfly rash can either be transient or progressive involving other parts of the facial skin.

What Are the Causes of Butterfly Rash?

Here are some causes of butterfly skin rash in a person. The symptoms and treatment for the following are similar:

  1. Rosacea, a skin condition
  2. Erysipelas, a skin infection caused by the Streptococcus bacteria
  3. Discoid lupus erythematosus, a condition that develops in the body when the immune system starts attacking the normal skin by mistake
  4. Systemic lupus

The symptoms of a lupus rash can be mild in some people while they can also be severe in others.

The rash in the shape of a butterfly can be scaly in severe cases and can be just a patch of light red or pink colored skin in some.

Butterfly rash when exposed to sunlight, Whether it is a rash on the neck or on the chest, can become worse and might even spread to other body parts.

Another factor that makes the symptoms severe is stress. A person who has a butterfly rash and is under tremendous amount of stress or anxiety, might see his or her condition worsen.

Cure for Butterfly Rash

Butterfly rash resulting from lupus has no permanent cure. One thing medical treatment can only do is to reduce their sudden intense happening.

Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as well as anti-malarial drugs are usually prescribed by doctors to minimize the symptoms of SLE. Immune-suppressive medicines can also be prescribed if the symptoms worsen by the day.

The correct use of topical cortisone creams helps in reducing the rash.

An effective home cure is to apply olive oil or vitamin E oil on the affected skin, leaving the oil on the affected skin surface for twenty minutes and then washing it off with cold water. Taking a bath with water mixed with oatmeal will help in faster healing when treating butterfly rash which have spread to all the body parts.

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