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What is lupus disease?

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Quick Answer

According to Mayo Clinic, lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks its own healthy tissue. This can cause inflammation throughout the body, including the skin, joints, brain, lungs, heart, blood cells and kidneys.

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What is lupus disease?
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Full Answer

According to WebMD, there are two types of lupus. The first is called discoid lupus erythematosus, or DLE. In this type, the primary organ affected is the skin, especially skin that is exposed to direct sunlight. Inflammation causes circular, or discoid, lesions that often leave scars after they heal.

The second type of lupus is systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE, explains WebMD. This is a more serious type that affects not only the skin but potentially every other part of the body. Lesions from this type of lupus often present with butterfly-like patterns across the nose and cheeks and leave scars if left untreated. Inflammation associated with SLE can potentially affect major organs, such as the kidneys or brain, which may result in kidney disease or confusion and seizures respectively.

According to the Lupus Research Institute, as of 2014 there is no known cure for lupus; however, a number of medicines are available to ease the symptoms and allow a person to live an otherwise normal life. According to Mayo Clinic, some of these drugs include corticosteroids, antimalarial drugs and immune suppressants.

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