Doctors prescribe immunomodulators, medications that suppress the immune system and keep it from attacking the healthy tissues in the body, to treat butterfly skin rashes caused by lupus, explains the Lupus Foundation of America. Butterfly rashes are patches of scaly, rough skin that stretch from one cheek, across the nose and to the other cheek, forming a butterfly shape.
Corticosteroid, anti-inflammatory medications and antimalarial drugs all treat or manage rashes and other symptoms, advises WebMD. The patient applies corticosteroid creams to the affected area; alternatively, he takes corticosteroids in pill form. Retinoids, synthetic forms of vitamin A, calcineurin inhibitors and sulfones are other possible treatments for the butterfly rash and other lupus symptoms, according the Lupus Foundation of America.
Butterfly rashes result from acute cutaneous lupus when the disease is active or flares up, state the Lupus Foundation of America. Although the butterfly rash commonly appears on the cheeks because of sun exposure, it can also form on any other parts of the body. The rash, which has a scaly, sunburned appearance and texture, is photosensitive. An individual with lupus needs to keep exposed skin protected from direct sunlight or artificial ultraviolet light by wearing long sleeves and pants, hats and sunscreen.