Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) Health (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:

Prevention of Lupus Flares

Comment on this

SLE is undoubtedly a potentially serious illness with involvement of numerous organ systems. However, it is important to recognize that most people with SLE lead full, active, and healthy lives. Periodic increases in disease activity (flares) can usually be managed by varying medications. However, since ultraviolet light can precipitate and worsen flares, people with systemic lupus should avoid sun exposure in order to prevent lupus flares. Sunscreens and clothing covering the extremities can be helpful. Abruptly stopping medications, especially corticosteroids, can also cause flares of lupus and should be avoided. People with SLE are at increased risk of infections, especially if they are taking corticosteroids or immunosuppressive medications. Therefore, any unexpected fever should be reported and evaluated.

The key to successful management of SLE is regular contact and communication with the doctor, allowing monitoring of symptoms, disease activities, and treatment of side effects.

Lupus Pictures

Malar rash of lupus
Malar rash of lupus
Typical skin rash of lupus on the face. Although certain rashes are more characteristic of lupus, the skin manifestations are many.
Typical skin rash of lupus on the face. Although certain rashes are more characteristic of lupus, the skin manifestations are many.
Deep venous thrombosis (blood clot). Notice the contrast between the involved left leg and the normal right leg. Redness, swelling, and warmth combined with discomfort in the involved leg are cardinal manifestations of a deep venous thrombosis.
Deep venous thrombosis (blood clot). Notice the contrast between the involved left leg and the normal right leg. Redness, swelling, and warmth combined with discomfort in the involved leg are cardinal manifestations of a deep venous thrombosis.

Medically reviewed by Robert Cox, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Infectious Disease

Previous contributing authors and editors:

Author: Julie Hildebrand, MD, Rheumatology Fellow, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Wisconsin.

Coauthor(s): Daniel Muller, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Rheumatology, University of Wisconsin at Madison; Ram Duriseti, MD, Staff Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center.

Editors: Kristine M Lohr, MD, Associate Chief, Program Director, Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Tennessee School of Medicine; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; Arthur Weinstein, MD, Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University; Associate Chairman, Department of Medicine, Director, Section of Rheumatology, Washington Hospital Center.

REFERENCES:

Seo, Philip, et al. Oxford American Handbook of Rheumatology. United States: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Weisman, Michael H., et al. Practical Rheumatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Mosby, 2004.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/8/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Lupus - Symptoms Question: The symptoms of lupus can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?
Lupus - Treatments Question: What treatments have been effective for your lupus?
Lupus - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with lupus.
Lupus (Systemic Lupus) - Prevention Question: What prevention measures do you use to avoid getting lupus flares?