When the immune system malfunctions there are two different types of reactions that are observed. One is where the body lacks the ability to fight infections which occurs due to a weak immune system. This leads to frequent illnesses. And the other major type of immune system malfunctioning is where the immune system is overactive and attacks the body’s own cells similar to fighting pathogens. This damages the cells and leads to inflammation, swelling, rashes, and other symptoms. This condition is called an autoimmune disorder. There are various types of autoimmune disorders and Lupus is one among them.
Types of Lupus
- Neonatal Lupus – this is where the antibodies from the mother’s body are transferred to the fetus in the womb. This causes the baby to be born with Lupus characterized by rashes on the skin and lowered blood cells.
- Cutaneous Lupus – as the name indicates this one occurs on the cutaneous layer or attacks the skin. Rashes might appear with raised edges or even appear scaly.
- Systematic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) – this is the most commonly occurring types of lupus. These target specific organs like the kidney. And there are rashes, joint pain, and other such effects.
- Drug-induced lupus erythematosus (DIL) – this is the type of lupus that is caused as the side effect of some drugs. Symptoms continue to worsen until the drug administration is continued. In most of the cases stopping the medication can put an end to this type of lupus.
- Women are known to be at higher risk for developing lupus than men of similar age group
- Caucasians are less likely to acquire lupus while people of color are more vulnerable to it.
- Lupus is likely to occur in those in the 15 to 44 age group.
- If you have a family history the chances are slightly high for you to develop lupus.
The genes have a prominent role to play when it comes to the occurrence of such autoimmune diseases. There are 50 different genes that are said to increase the risks of lupus and so if you have one or more of these genes then you are at risk. Hereditary factors slightly increase the chances but if there is one member who has it that doesn’t always mean that the genes are passed down. There are several environmental factors associated with this condition as well. Prolonged exposure to UV rays, certain types of infections and drugs can all lead to lupus. Finally, even the hormones in the body have a role to play. These are essential for keeping the immune system functioning normally. A surge in the levels of specific hormones could also lead to the malfunctioning of the immune system.
Rashes might be the most prominent symptoms associated with lupus. These are not always itchy. There are butterfly-shaped rashes that are prone to occur on the face. Such distinct rashes send the first warning signals. Besides these, exhaustion, dryness in the eyes, pain in the joints and even headaches are common in those with lupus. For a more detailed look at the symptoms and to see real examples, watch this video: