Re: Lupus rash
Yes, you can definitely get lupus rashes in all sorts of places. The one on the face is what's classicly called "butterfly rash", but even that doesnt' necessarily occur in everyone with lupus. I've gotten all sorts of rashes over the years in different places and don't even know if they're all lupus related.
The very first time I got a rash, though, was over 20 years ago. I used to work outside in the sun all day. One day I got this weird rash across my cheeks and nose as well as on the underside of each forearm. It was red, slightly raised and on my face there were sort of scaly areas. I was only like 20 yrs old and thought I got skin cancer or somethign. Didnt have insurance and not much money, but did see a dermatologist. Mind you, before this rash occured, I had been having many other weird symptoms such as joint pains, hives, fatigue and other things. I had seen a few other docs and got nowhere with them. This derm, though, literally spent almost an hour with me, asking all sorts of questions about my other symptoms. At the end, he asked if I had ever heard of lupus, which I hadn't. He suspected it might have been lupus. I couldnt' afford a skin biopsy and all the tests he wanted to run, but I did have a few tests done including the ANA. It came back with a high ANA titer, so he suggested I follow up to see a rheumatologist, but I never did back then. Couldn't afford it. He did prescribe steroid cream for my rash and it eventually went away, although I do always have the redness there. (However I also have rosacea on top of that) I never did get that rash on my inner forearms again, though.
There are also many different types of rashes seen in lupus, not just the facial butterfly rash. There are also many different types of lupus. I get hives all the time for unknown reasons except that Lupus can cause hives.
Right now I have a new rash (well it's been here for some time, but never had it in my life before) which is red, raised and scaly on both my legs. Sometimes it itches, other times not. I've also had the same thing around both elbows. It ended up just going away on my elbows and ended up on my shins. I just finally saw a new Rheum the other day......she said it looked like psoriasis but also said with lupus, it can cause all sorts of rashes so she couldn't rule out that it could be caused by lupus. But again, now I'm supposed to go back to a dermatologist for it. Mind you, before I had this rash, I had a different rash on both legs. They were small, about a dime size red splotches, not quite circular mostly on my lower legs. Those did not itch at all, but I had seen a derm about them since I had it for about 9 months or so. Once the redness went away, they looked like bruises all over. I ended up seeing the PA in the office and she said it was just probably eczema & prescribed steroid cream. It helped quite a bit but not totally. Finally after time those went away and then I developed this other rash on my shins ( and on & off around my elbows) that my new Rheum said looked like psoriasis. So now I have to go see a dermatologist again, but this time I think i'll see the doctor, not the physician's assistant.
My new Rheum also sent me for a bunch of lab tests and I noticed some tests on there are for Sjogrens Syndrome and Ankylosing Spondylitis, which I'd never been tested for before by my previous rheum (although my former Rheum had suspected I might have AS...he just sent me for MRI of my SI joints, which came back okay, so I guess he ruled it out). I noticed the diagnosis codes are also for Sjogrens and AS as well as chronic pain. Of course I looked up all the test names to see what they were for. She also included ANA and some other tests for lupus, plus SSA and SSB and finally this HLAB27 test for AS.
The thing with autoimmune disease is....it's usually not very easy to diagnose what, if any AI disease it is. There are so many overlapping symptoms, symptoms come and go, lab tests don't always show the whole story. Some people could have an AI disease even though lab tests don't necessarily show it at the time. There aren't that many disease specific tests that can 100% say that someone has a specifice disease. IT's usually a combo of tests and symptoms, what treatments work and dont' work.