“The classic butterfly rash of lupus is not something that comes and goes overnight,” says Kally Papantoniou, MD, FAAD, with Simply Dermatology in NY.
“It tends to be persistent and will occur out of proportion to the degree of sun exposure experienced.
“If you think you may have a butterfly rash seek a dermatologic evaluation, and if you cannot get in soon, I encourage taking your own photos.
“There are so many times in which a patient’s photographs are very helpful in making the correct diagnosis, as by the time you get into the office it is not unusual for the condition to be inactive.”
Lupus is an autoimmune disease; there is currently no cure, and the precise cause is not known.
It can affect the body in many ways, but the classic sign is the butterfly rash.
However, other conditions can cause a rash that might be described as shaped like a butterfly.
By coincidence, for example, very slowly evolving patches of actinic keratosis can take on the appearance of a butterfly rash. So can rosacea, another skin condition.
Dr. Papantoniou is a board certified dermatologist specializing in cosmetic, laser and surgical dermatology.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.