Neither the rashes of chronic cutaneous lupus nor subacute cutaneous lupus are usually painful or itchy, according to the American Skin Association. Acute cutaneous lupus, generally a manifestation of active systemic lupus, is also unlikely to cause pain, explains Mollys Fund Fighting Lupus. Each of these types of lupus has a different appearance.
Chronic cutaneous lupus generally manifests as raised red scaly patches of skin in round shapes resembling coins, notes the American Skin Association. People who develop these lesions on the head or neck are unlikely to ever develop systemic lupus. Skin affected by these lesions is often left permanently lightened or darkened, as well as thinned. The lesions can also destroy hair follicles, resulting in permanent hair loss if located on the scalp.
Subacute cutaneous lupus rashes manifest as red scaly patches or as rings with scaliness around the edges, says the American Skin Association. The lesions most commonly appear on the chest, upper back and neck, although they can also appear on the face and arms. Most patients with this type of lupus never develop systemic disease.
Acute cutaneous lupus often manifests as a butterfly-shaped rash across the nose and cheeks, states the American Skin Association. This rash is flat and reddish and can also appear on other areas of the body.