One of the most important and characteristic symptoms in SLE is a butterfly-shaped rash. It generally appears on both cheeks and the bridge of the nose. It is clinically known as a malar rash, and prolonged exposure to sunlight can increase the chance of its appearance. Around 50 percent of lupus patients would have this characteristic rash on their body. It is generally not painful and may appear in a red, blotchy pattern. Malar rash is typically flat, but in 20% of the cases raised lesions are also observed in lupus patients.
In addition to the malar rash, another type of rash is common among lupus patient, and it is called discoid lupus (or DLE). DLE rashes look like patches and leave a white scaly scar after healing. The patch of rash is initially reddish but may progress to become a raised and thickened scarred lesion. According to research, these rashes are usually caused by an increased sensitivity of the skin cells in lupus patients.
These rashes appear after patients are exposed to sunlight, viruses, hormone changes, and extreme stress, and would require immediate medical checkup.